Nearly half of the states in the Union are jumping on the bandwagon to jump-start the electric car market. Their support would be in the form of incentives to purchasers of the green vehicles.
The programs, which include rebates and access to carpool lanes, has provided come ons to make the vehicles more affordable and convenient for the common car owner. These benefits include a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 which makes the once expensive vehicle to the price range of common internal combustion cars.
Automakers have also started to roll out the first commercially available electric cars for purchase. Nissan has unveiled its Leaf ($33,630 SRP), a fully electric vehicle while Chevrolet has begun to sell the Volt ($41,000 SRP), a plug in that has an onboard generator powered by an auxiliary gas engine. Nissan has introduced the Leaf in states with EV incentive plans in place, namely California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Tennessee.
Seventeen states already provide benefits packages for EV purchases. In California, there is a $5,000 state rebate plus the federal tax credit of $7,500 reducing the purchase price of the Leaf to $22,500. Five other states, namely Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas are in the midst of approving legislation towards providing incentives for electric car purchases.
Other non-monetary incentives, such as EV cars use of carpool lanes even without passengers, are already in effect in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and Utah. There is even greater activity in California as 75,000 hybrid drivers who would be losing carpool lane privileges may switch to EVs to retain these perks.
Louisiana, Hawaii and Washington are providing tax credits and other discounts to cut the price of home charging stations, which are pricey at $1,200 a unit. Maryland, New Jersey and Washington EV purchases are exempt from sales taxes for a savings as high as 6.5%.
Jorge Santana, Pennsylvania State Rep Tony Payton’s Chief of Staff, said that the goal is to create an environment that’s conducive to the marketplace. Adding to that, Gustavo Collantes, Washington State’s Energy Policy Adviser, says that these incentive programs are sending the right signals to car and parts makers to locate the plants within Washington.