The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is encouraging businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits to purchase or lease electric fleet vehicles by offering up to $5,000 in rebates for each plug-in EV that replaces an internal combustion engine-powered vehicle.
[Above photo by VTrans]
The “Electrify Your Fleet” program is making $500,000 available to fleet owners to “help create a robust market in our state of used electric vehicles so that more EVs will be available more affordably,” explained VTrans Secretary Joe Flynn in a news release.
The state-funded program will make it easier for businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits to buy or lease EVs, “realizing long- term cost-savings, reduce climate impacts, keep more money in the local economy, and better serve customers, clients, and citizens,” he added.
The agency said 40 percent of that funding is earmarked for Vermont applicants who are from or who serve historically underserved communities. While most applicants will be capped at $2,500 per EV, nonprofits that provide Vermonters with transportation alternatives to personal vehicle ownership can get up to a $5,000 rebate per EV.
The amount of the rebate cannot exceed 25 percent of the vehicle purchased or leased. By combining the “Electrify Your Fleet” program benefits with local utility rebates and federal tax cuts for clean commercial vehicles, applicants can save as much as $10,000 per EV, according to VTrans.
The department added that it kicked off the program as one way to “electrify the transportation sector” and “accelerate the retirement of internal combustion engine vehicles.” By helping to reduce fossil-fueled transportation, which is the state’s largest contributor of carbon emissions, Vermont municipalities and business entities can “enjoy the benefits of cleaner transportation options,” VTrans pointed out.
Rebate recipients must “demonstrate that the incentives will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their fleet operations,” the agency said, with fleet owners required to keep the EVs for at least two years and agree to sell them through Vermont’s income-eligible incentive program for used vehicles.
The rebates also can be applied to electric bikes, electric motorcycles, and electric snowmobiles, VTrans stressed.
The program is scheduled to conclude in June 2024, but the agency said it may extend the program if more funding becomes available.
Many state departments of transportation across the country are engaged in similar efforts to help people, communities, and businesses accelerate the transition to EVs:
- The Oregon Department of Transportation has a community charging rebates program to defray the costs of Level 2 and Level 1 charging stations.
- The Maryland Department of Transportation has developed a tool to help local governments and agencies access $2.5 billion in federal grants to build an EV charging network.
- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is supporting a new multi-modal electric charging hub at a Raleigh airport.