Vermont proposes incentives to promote the purchase of EVs

    Originally posted by Dave Kovaleski | July 16, 2019 | DailyEnergyInsider | Original Article

    Vermont government and the state’s largest utility company are boosting efforts to promote electric vehicles and reduce greenhouse gases through a variety of initiatives, including an incentive program for low- and moderate-income families and investments in charging infrastructure.

    “Electrifying the transportation sector will help clean the air and keep millions of dollars within our economy, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said at a news conference last week. “While more work needs to be done, Vermont has taken strong steps toward a renewable transportation sector.” He was joined by other energy sector leaders in the public and private sectors, including Mary Powell, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power.

    The transportation sector accounts for about 45 percent of greenhouses gases in the state, which is the largest single source. Through the state’s Comprehensive Energy Plan, the Scott Administration is seeking to offset emissions by increasing the share of renewable energy in the transportation sector. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gases in the sector through the use of EVs by 10 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050. To accomplish that objective, the plan is to have approximately 50,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) registered in Vermont by 2025. Currently, there are only about 3,100.

    To do that, the Scott Administration has proposed several initiatives. In his fiscal year 2020 budget, the governor included $1.1 million in incentives to help low- and moderate-income households – those with median annual incomes under $92,000 – purchase or lease electric vehicles. Further, to facilitate the growth of commercial charging stations, Scott proposed removing state jurisdiction by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and Public Service Department over charging infrastructure.

    The state is also committed to transitioning its fleet of state-owned vehicles to EVs. Scott, working with lawmakers, has set a goal of having 50 percent of vehicles purchased or leased by the state Department of Buildings and General Services be hybrid or EVs.

    In addition, the state has provided more than $1 million in grants to build 30 charging stations across the state, including Level 2 (four-hour charge time) and Level 3 fast charging (20-minute charge time) stations. The goal, said Scott, is to ensure that all residents will live within 30 miles of a Level 3 station. The 30 new charging stations are expected to come online in 2019, adding to the 26 Level 3 and 191 Level 2 charging sites already up and running.

    Powell, the president and CEO of Green Mountain Power (GMP), commended the state’s commitment to reducing emissions and outlined what her company is doing to promote EVs to its 265,000 customers. Specifically, GMP is offering rebates of up to $2,500 for customers who buy or lease a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle. All customers who buy a hybrid or EV under $60,000 will receive a $1,500 rebate from GMP for a new car and $750 for a used car. An additional $1,000 rebate is available to qualifying low- and moderate-income individuals or families. Further, all customers who buy a new EV are eligible for a free in-home Level 2 charger – which is valued at $600. Many auto dealers in the state are offering additional rebates.

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