Alternative vehicles get statewide push with rebates of up to $3,000

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A rebate program for Connecticut residents who buy or lease alternative-fuel vehicles will make such purchases up to $3,000 more attractive, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday.

The new Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program, available for vehicles that run on hydrogen or electricity, will offer rebates on a sliding scale. The maximum $3,000 will apply to electric vehicles bought or leased with the greatest battery capacity, while $1,500 and $750 incentives are available for vehicles whose batteries need to be recharged more frequently.

"This rebate puts money right back in people's pockets and makes the cost of purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle competitive with the price of a conventional car," Malloy said in a statement.

He added that putting more electric vehicles on the roads will cut carbon emissions tied to global warming and reduce pollutants in the air.

Vehicles that run using electric batteries and fuel cells as well as plug-in hybrids are eligible for the rebates. Full details of the so-called CHEAPR program are available at www.evconnecticut.com.

"These new CHEAPR rebates will provide an added incentive for consumers to embrace new approaches and help lead the way to a more sustainable future,” Malloy said.

Funding for the pilot program, administered by EVConnecticut, come from a $1 million settlement that cleared the way for NSTAR to purchase Northeast Utilities. The resulting merger, completed in 2012, led to a combined company known as Eversource Energy.

The new incentive program brought kudos from both the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association and the electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla, organizations that were at loggerheads earlier this year when Tesla wanted to open company-owned dealerships in Connecticut. Compromise legislation that restricted the number of Tesla dealerships in the state to three eventually passed in a committee vote but still needs final approval in the General Assembly.

“We know this new rebate will help get more consumers to decide to make this investment in a new car and the environment,” Jim Fleming, president of the state auto retailers association, said in a statement.

Tesla praised Malloy for "taking this important first step towards promoting the broader adoption of electric vehicles."

l.howard@theday.com

Twitter: @KingstonLeeHow

 

 

 

 

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