What is the Drive Clean Rebate?
The Drive Clean Rebate is a point-of-sale (at the dealership) rebate launched by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on March 21, 2017. The initiative aims to encourage the growth of clean and non-polluting electric car use in New York State (NYS) and reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The Drive Clean Rebate is available to NYS residents, businesses, and government entities who buy or lease new eligible cars through participating new car dealerships.
Where can I buy a car that qualifies for the rebate? Click here for a list of dealerships that have signed up to offer the Drive Clean Rebate. You can use this list to search for eligible dealerships by county and car brand. Only dealerships that have registered with the Drive Clean Rebate can offer this point-of-sale rebate. You may also want to call the dealership ahead of time to ensure that your preferred car is in stock before you visit.
Are purchases and leases both eligible for the rebate?
Yes, but the lease term must be at least 36 months.
Can I receive the rebate directly from NYSERDA, without the involvement of a dealership?
No. The Drive Clean Rebate is a point-of-sale rebate. This means that it is only offered through participating dealerships, who deduct the rebate amount from the final purchase price when you buy or lease the car. This easy approach means no follow-up paperwork for you, the consumer. Dealerships take care of paperwork when they apply for reimbursement of the rebate from NYSERDA. There is no way for consumers to receive the rebate directly from NYSERDA.
I purchased a car before March 21, 2017. Is my car eligible for the rebate?
No. The rebate is available only for cars purchased or leased on or after the program launch date. The legislation that passed in April 2016 directed NYSERDA to implement a rebate program within one year. Since that time, NYSERDA has worked closely with the program administrator, car dealerships and others in the industry to design and then launch the initiative on March 21, 2017. Only cars that are purchased or leased on or after that date are eligible with the rebate coming directly off the purchase price at the point of sale.
I am a resident of New Jersey. Can I receive the rebate if I purchase from a dealership in NYS?
No. The purchaser or lessee must be a NYS resident.
I am a NYS resident. Can I receive the rebate if I purchase a car from a dealership located in another state?
No. The car must be purchased or leased from a participating dealership registered with the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as a new car dealership.
Are there requirements for how long I need to keep the car?
Yes. Car purchases require an ownership period of at least 36 months. Car leases require an original lease term of at least 36 months.
What are the repercussions of violating the 36-month ownership and lease requirement?
NYSERDA will enforce the 36-month ownership and lease requirement. NYSERDA may seek reimbursement for a portion of the original rebate amount if the requirement is violated.
If you are in this situation, contact the Drive Clean Rebate staff to resolve your 36-month ownership requirement using the contact information at the bottom of this page.
Why do cars with a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) over $42,000 only receive a $500 rebate?
The intent of the Drive Clean Rebate is to be as effective as possible at influencing consumers’ decisions. Research shows that on average, rebates are more effective at shifting purchasing/leasing decisions about cars with prices lower than $42,000. To ensure the program is inclusive for all New Yorkers, the program does provide a flat rebate of $500 for all plug-in electric cars with a MSRP over $42,000.
Is the rebate taxed?
The Drive Clean Rebate is subject to NYS sales tax. Currently, there is a bill in the NYS Senate that may provide an electric car sales tax exemption. Please consult your tax professional for guidance.
A new electric car is coming on the market soon. Will it be eligible for the rebate? For how much?
New models are added to the eligible car list when they become available for sale in New York State. For details on what makes a car eligible, see section 3.1 of the Implementation Manual. For cars with a base MSRP of $42,000 or less, the rebate you get depends on how much battery-only range the car has. Electric cars with a base MSRP over $42,000 get a flat $500 rebate.
I received a survey about Drive Clean Rebate. What is this about?
By signing the Vehicle Purchaser Terms and Conditions, you agreed to participate in occasional online surveys. Within a few months of purchasing or leasing your car you’ll receive a survey about your experience at the dealership in purchasing or leasing your car. You’ll receive another survey several months later about what it is like to own a plug-in electric car. The surveys are optional, but your answers will help us improve the Drive Clean Rebate and enhance the electric car experience for all New Yorkers. We strongly encourage you to participate.
Are there other incentives for electric cars?
For information on other support and discounts for electric cars, click here.
What does MPGe mean?
MPGe stands for miles per gallon (of gasoline) equivalent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determines MPGe ratings using a set amount of electric energy that is equal to the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. Visit the EPA’s website for more information.