Governor Ned Lamont today announced a suite of improvements to the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program – the state’s successful consumer rebate program for electric vehicles (EVs) – that will provide more Connecticut residents with more affordable access to purchase or lease an EV.
The newly approved incentives, which become available this month, increase rebate amounts and expand the CHEAPR program to cover used EVs as well as new EVs and provide an additional incentive for income-eligible consumers. The new standard rebate applied at the point of sale will continue to be referred to as CHEAPR, while Rebate+ New and Rebate+ Used will refer to the new post-purchase incentives available to eligible consumers.
“The CHEAPR program has been remarkably successful,” Governor Lamont said. “Since 2015, this program has put over $12.1 million back in the pockets of Connecticut drivers who have purchased or leased an EV, which has helped to put almost 7,000 EVs on Connecticut’s roads. Today, I’m proud to announce that we’re making CHEAPR even better by adopting new incentives under the Rebate+ program for folks who may have a difficult time affording a new electric car and we’re also excited to become one of just a few states to expand EV incentives to used vehicles.”
The CHEAPR program provides a cash rebate for any Connecticut resident who purchases or leases an eligible EV costing up to $42,000. EVs covered by CHEAPR include battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Since early 2020, CHEAPR has been administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and guided by input from the CHEAPR Board.
Connecticut needs approximately 125,000 to 150,000 EVs by 2025 and 500,000 EVs by 2030 to meet the state’s statutorily mandated greenhouse gas reduction target.
“These new and increased incentives will go a long way toward expanding the pool of consumers able to invest in an electric vehicle,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This is an important step in the state’s pursuit of a zero-emission transportation future that promises cleaner air and will create new jobs in Connecticut’s green economy. Improvements to CHEAPR, and new initiatives like the Transportation and Climate Initiative program, will collectively accelerate adoption and improve affordability of EVs while investing in the supporting infrastructure – critically important measures that will drive down pollution and provide cleaner air to breathe, especially in overburdened communities along our transportation corridors.”
There are several new incentive levels included in the program.
For new vehicles, the CHEAPR rebate is now:
- $2,250 for a new BEV (previously $1,500)
- $750 for a new PHEV (previously $500)
- $7,500 for a new FCEV (previously $5,000)
Under the Rebate+ New program, eligible purchasers or lessees may receive an additional:
- $2,000 for a new BEV
- $1,500 for a new PHEV
- $2,000 for a new FCEV
Under the Rebate+ Used program, eligible purchasers or lessees of qualified used vehicles will receive:
- $3,000 for a used BEV
- $1,125 for a used PHEV
- $7,500 for a used FCEV
The incentives under the Rebate+ Used and Rebate+ New program will be offered as long as funding remains available or until December 31, 2021, when the rebate levels will be returned to the previous base-level. DEEP will consult with the CHEAPR Board as part of the process of lowering incentive levels. Funding for the CHEAPR program is made possible through a fee on vehicle registrations and the sale of new vehicles.
The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA), a statewide trade association representing over 250 franchised new car and truck dealerships primarily engaged in the retail sale of new and used motor vehicles, praised the new incentives.
“Electric vehicle incentive programs encourage consumers to consider alternatives that are good for the environment as well as their bottom line when shopping for a new car,” Sarah Fryxell, president of CARA, said. “CARA thanks Governor Lamont and the legislature for strengthening this program and helping to make EVs more affordable for more people in Connecticut through both CHEAPR and Rebate+.”
The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), a nonprofit energy program administration and advisory services organization assisting the state in administering the incentive program, spoke to the positive impact these incentives are likely to have.
“The affordability calculator in CSE’s Caret™ Incentive Program Planning software demonstrates that the Connecticut EV program will make a wide range of EVs available to low- and moderate-income consumers,” Lawrence Goldenhersh, president of CSE, said. “Connecticut is in the vanguard of U.S. states leading the effort to equitably accelerate EV adoption. We’re honored to be administering this new incentive program for the state with the continued support of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association.”
For additional information on the CHEAPR program, click here.
CHEAPR continues to have a significant impact on EV purchases in Connecticut. Surveys of CHEAPR consumers found that:
- 95% of Connecticut consumers stated that CHEAPR was moderately to extremely important in making it possible to purchase an EV. This was higher than the programs in NY (93%), CA (90%) and MA (89%).
- 58% of CT consumers stated they would not have purchased their EV without CHEAPR. This was again higher than other programs in NY (53%), CA (52%) and MA (42%).
- 79% of consumers stated the new EV replaced another household vehicle.
Rebate+ applicants must be enrolled in one of the below qualifying programs and submit a document or membership card that, at a minimum, provides:
- Applicant name
- Name of the qualifying program (see list below)
- The government entity (state or tribal) or the managed care organization that issued the document
- An issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date beyond the date of CHEAPR application and approval.
Rebate+ qualifying state and federal programs include:
- Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)
- Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamp Program)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) or Tribal TANF
- Head Start Income Eligible
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- National School Breakfast and Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program (“Section 8”)