On March 21st Governor Cuomo announced the introduction of a new $70 million electric car rebate. The initiative will contribute to Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. Drive Clean rebates will be made available to New York residents who purchase eligible electric cars at participating car dealerships. Audi Albany, Basil Toyota, and Garden City Nissan are only some of the dealerships participating in the program. The other dealerships participating in the program can be found on the Drive Clean Rebate website.
Cutting back on transportation emissions is key for New York in the effort to reduce its environmental footprint as the transportation sector accounts for an estimated 40 percent of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing transportation emissions will also have significant benefits for public health. It has been shown living in areas with large amounts of congestion and busy roads, such as New York City, can have a negative impact on the respiratory system due to the particles released by car emissions. In crowded cities like New York where exposure to car emissions is high, respiratory illnesses are more likely to occur. The rebate initiative will help to lessen the amount of emissions by promoting the sale of emissions-free electric cars.
$55 million of the funds dedicated to the rebate initiative will be devoted to reducing the costs of electric cars. Buyers can receive a rebate of up to $2,000 when purchasing an electric car under the new initiative. Governor Cuomo explained, “These highly-anticipated rebates will make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible and support this state’s nation-leading efforts to build a cleaner, greener New York for generations to come.” The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will coordinate the new initiative. With the initiative, New Yorkers will be able to be more active in reducing the state’s emissions.
Governor Cuomo’s effort to install 500 new electric car-charging stations ties in perfectly with the Drive Clean Rebate, as a major roadblock to purchasing an EV is lack of access to charging stations. The stations will be located across various workplaces and throughout the Thruway. Through these efforts the Governor hopes to increase the overall adoption of zero-emitting electric vehicles. The charging stations well be be spread throughout Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Utica, Albany, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, New York City, and Long Island. The rebate initiative and charging efforts also coincide with the Governor’s recent announcement to dedicate $3million to municipalities so they can invest in purchasing electric vehicles.
Electric Vehicles are an important part of New York State’s goals for sustainability. Without promoting electric cars it would be difficult to realize the goal of reducing emissions 40% by 2030. The New York League of Conservation Voters has supported past efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles and will continue to support initiatives that help to make New York a greener and healthier state.
If we are to meet our ambitious goals for getting 700,000 zero emissions vehicles on the road in New York by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, implementing a consumer tax rebate on zero emissions vehicles is simply essential. At NYLCV, we are pleased to see Governor Cuomo implement this important tool to drive demand, in addition to his growing commitments to build out a robust network of charging stations.