This year in mid-March, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a $70 million electric car rebate and outreach initiative, called the Drive Clean Initiative, encouraging the pursuit of clean and non-polluting electric car usage in New York State. It also promotes a decrease of the transportation sector’s carbon footprint, which happens to be the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the State.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) reported on the program, stating that $55 million of the Drive Clean Initiative is allocated toward rebates of up to $2,000 for new electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle purchases. The additional $15 million is to be used in support of improving consumer awareness of EVs and their numerous benefits, installing more charging stations throughout New York State, developing and demonstrating new EV-encouraging technologies, and promote an increase in the number of electric cars on New York streets.
This prioritization of electric vehicle technology is not only forward-thinking and innovative, but also a necessary element in the growth and sustainability of clean energy application. More states—especially those with dense, urban metropolises, like California (Los Angeles and San Francisco) and Illinois (Chicago)—could benefit from the experiences gained in New York State and following suit, especially with the rise in popularity of electric vehicles.
Governor Cuomo’s goal is to reduce New York State’s carbon emissions by helping make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible to consumers via the rebates, as well as support the State’s efforts to build a greener and cleaner environment for future generations. In addition, reducing vehicle emissions is a critical part of fighting climate change and lowering the overall carbon footprint of New York State.
Currently, more than 30 models of electric cars are eligible for a rebate under the Drive Clean rebate program. Combined with a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, nearly a third or more of a new electric car could be paid for thanks to government aid. In addition, more than 1,600 public charging stations (a constantly growing number) are available across the State.
Electric cars are far more energy efficient and cost about 50% to 70% less to operate per mile than gas-powered vehicles. Cars bought using rebates through the Drive Clean Initiative are expected to save 115,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year—which is equal to taking 24,000 cars off the road.
For those living somewhere other than New York State, there are ways to get involved and communicate with your respective state government to encourage similar programs. Start a petition, call your governor’s office, or write a letter urging your state legislature to organize electric vehicle-promoting initiatives.
You can also directly encourage electric car usage by installing an EV charging station at your business, get in touch with our team at EV Connect for a free site assessment.