Governor McKee Kicks Off #RIMomentum Tour with Launch of Electric Vehicle Rebate Program
PROVIDENCE – Governor Dan McKee kicked off his #RIMomentum Tour by launching DRIVEEV , the Administration’s new electric vehicle rebate program which will open to the public on July 7, 2022. DRIVEEV supports the adoption of electric vehicles by Rhode Island residents, small-businesses, nonprofits, and public sector entities.
At the launch, the Governor also highlighted the FY23 budget which directs $23 million in federal funds to expand Rhode Island’s network of electric vehicle charging stations. As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) plans to use $3.38 million this year to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
“Rhode Island is a national leader in clean energy innovation and we’re ready to build on our momentum to maintain that lead” said Governor McKee. “My Administration is committed to making additional investments to improve the quality of our air and water and expand access to affordable and sustainable clean energy solutions. That’s why I’m proud to announce that the DRIVEEV rebate program will open to the public on July 7. These rebates will help reduce the cost of electric vehicles for consumers, with additional incentives available for those with lower incomes, making EV ownership more affordable to a greater number of Rhode Islanders. Electric vehicles also help reduce carbon and other harmful emissions in our neighborhoods. Slashing greenhouse gasses is not just the right thing to do for the environment – it is also the right thing to do for our economy.”
“I’m incredibly proud of the work our administration has done to make electric vehicles more accessible,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “With the summer travel season in full swing and gas prices rising, access to affordable electric vehicles is critical for Rhode Islanders and small businesses. Electric vehicle ownership will improve our quality of life by cutting carbon emissions and improving the air quality in our neighborhoods. I’m excited to see the benefits of the DRIVEEV rebate program in action.”
“Governor McKee and I are proud to announce the opening of the DRIVEEV program, which will help connect Rhode Island residents and business to more affordable and sustainable transportation solutions,” said State Energy Commissioner Nicholas S. Ucci. “This electric vehicle rebate program will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful particulates from our transportation sector in line with Act on Climate goals. Additionally, we are excited to announce the availability of enhanced incentives for income-eligible drivers as well as for small businesses, non-profits, and public sector entities in high-asthma rate communities. This program is a win-win-win for Rhode Island.”
The adoption of sustainable transportation solutions, such as electric vehicles for commuters and fleets, is crucial to Rhode Island’s fight against climate change and achieving the mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals contained in the 2021 Act on Climate. The Act on Climate requires a 45 percent reduction in the state’s GHG emissions by 2030, leading to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Currently, the transportation sector accounts for more than one-third of statewide greenhouse gas emissions.
DRIVEEV provides individual rebates of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and up to $1,500 for new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The program also offers rebates of up to $1,500 for the purchase or lease of used BEVs and FCEVs and up to $750 for used plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. DRIVEEV rebates are reserved and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
An additional incentive, DRIVE+, may provide up to $2,000 for individuals who purchase or lease an eligible EV and meet certain income requirements.
DRIVEEV FLEET will provide EV rebates for qualified small businesses, non-profits, and public sector entities. Fleets may receive up to $2,500 for new BEVs or FCEVs and $1,500 for used BEVs or used FCEVs. Qualified organizations may be eligible for an additional $1,000 rebate if located within a municipality with the highest asthma rates due to traffic exposure. Entities may apply for up to five vehicles every twenty-four months.
For DRIVEEV and DRIVEEV FLEET, applicants must purchase or lease a used EV that has a final sales and purchase price agreement at or below $40,000. Residents or businesses who wish to purchase or lease a new EV must have a final sales and purchase price agreement at or below $60,000. Leased EVs are required to have a lease term of at least 24 months to qualify for the program.
Applications for the rebate program will be available online at www.drive.ri.gov once the program formally launches on July 7, 2022. Qualified applicants will have 120 days from the date of purchase/lease to apply and submit all required supporting documents as specified on the DRIVEEV, DRIVE+, and DRIVEEV FLEET applications and the Program Guidance Document. To be eligible for the electric vehicle rebate, the purchase or lease date for a new or used EV must be on or after July 7, 2022.
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) will administer the DRIVEEV program and direct existing, non-general revenue funds to support its launch.