Last year the Commonwealth of Massachusetts joined several other states in offering a rebate for the purchase or lease of a plug-in car. The $2,500 rebate has proven popular enough that Governor Charlie Baker announced an additional $2 million of funding to the program, more than doubling the size of the pot.
So far, the program has already helped some 700 plug-in car buyers across the Bay State, and the additional funding will make the $2,500 rebate available to an additional 800 buyers. Combined with the $7,500 Federal tax rebate, plug-in car buyers from Massachusetts can save $10,000 off the purchase or lease of a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
The state government estimates that EV drivers can save as much as $3,750 over 5 years on fuel costs in comparison with a conventional car, though buyers of electric motorcycles are also eligible. The Massachusetts state court also ruled in favor of Tesla vs. local car dealers, who sought to prevent a direct sales model from setting up shop.
But while Massachusetts is expanding its plug-in car incentives, two other states, Illinois and Georgia, have ended there own rebate programs. Georgia’s $5,000 rebate was one of the most generous in the country, and not only has the program been ended, but politicians also voted to add a $200 registration fee for plug-in cars to make up for lost gas taxes. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.
While 37 states offer some kind of incentives for plug-in cars, Massachusetts is one of just four states in total offering cash incentives to buyers. Norway, meanwhile, offers so many perks and financial incentives that electric cars are some of the best-selling new vehicles in the Scandinavian country. The Canadian province of British Columbia recently reinstated a new EV incentive program after plug-in car purchases fell by about 50%.
The lesson here is that EV incentives work, and more states need to follow the lead of Massachusetts, rather than Georgia.