New York to launch $2,000 electric car tax rebate on April 1st

Nearly a year after the state legislature approved it, New York is on the verge of rolling out its first-ever tax rebate for electric vehicles.

By Kyly Campbell, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Monday, March 6, 2017, 1:57 PM

Last April, as part of the state’s $96.2 billion budget, New York lawmakers approved a $2,000 rebate for residents who purchase a battery-powered vehicle. Now, as the April 1 deadline to implement this program approaches, the Empire State will become the latest to incentivize low-emissions vehicles.

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More than three-quarters of states already have functioning incentive programs for EVs and plug-in hybrids, according to a report from the Associated Press, putting New York well behind the national curve.

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Hyundai will add an all-electric offering to its new Ioniq lineup.

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Automakers are doing their part to make emission-free vehicles “affordable,” by lowering electric vehicle prices to be comparable to their average, gas-powered equivalents. However, even the leaders of this cheap-EV movement, the Chevrolet Bolt and forthcoming Tesla Model 3, are reliant on a maximum $7,500 federal tax break to get in the low-$30,000 range.

Although a spokeswoman for the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority told the AP that the agency is still putting the finishing touches on the program and working to inform dealers—just weeks before the launch date—what’s been clear from the beginning is that the incentive will apply to all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles as a means for curbing carbon emissions.

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Despite being deemed well prepared for the wave of plug-in electric vehicles, New York trails well behind many other major cities both in the U.S. and abroad.

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New York wants to get 40,000 electric vehicles onto its roads by next year, and while offering this rebate is a great first step toward fostering growth in the EV sector, there’s a lot more that can be done.

For starters, as we found out first-hand, New York City has a serious lack of affordable, attainable charging stations for electric vehicles. While this isn’t terribly surprising, considering drivers can’t even gas up in Lower Manhattan, it does not bode well for widespread EV use.