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State will give $2,000 rebate for the purchase of electric cars

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In effort to curb carbon emissions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will incentivize consumers with $2,000 rebate

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of a $70 million electric car rebate program.

The goal of the Drive Clean Initiative is to help lower greenhouse gas emissions in the state, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The program will give a $2,000 rebate to New York residents who purchase eligible electric cars from participating new car dealerships. This rebate would be a supplement to a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for electric cars, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

“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,” Cuomo said in the release.

The eligible cars include plug-in hybrid electric cars, all-electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell cars. A total of 30 different types of electric cars are available under the initiative, per the release.

A $15 million portion of the funding will go toward improving consumer education about electric cars, installing more charging stations and developing new electric car-enabling technologies, per the release. Currently there are more than 1,600 charging stations in New York state, according to the NYSERDA. The NYSERDA will manage the program, per the release.

Other states across the country have started initiatives to promote and support electric car use as well. New Jersey, for example, launched a $725,000 grant program last year to improve accessibility for electric car drivers, with the aims of increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations, according to NJ.com.

California has a Zero Emission Vehicle program in place that pushes automakers to sell more electric cars and hybrid vehicles, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In New York state, transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases, per the release. The goal of the initiative is to help meet Cuomo’s goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The cars receiving rebates are expected to eliminate 115,000 metric tons per year, the same as taking 24,000 cars off the road, according to the release.

This is the latest announcement related to electric cars that Cuomo has made recently. He previously allocated $3 million to help municipalities and rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric cars, per the release.

Officials from several different state agencies weighed in on the initiative in the release. Basil Seggos, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, said Cuomo is making New York “a global leader” in the fight against climate change. Protecting Earth requires bold action, he added.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul also spoke in support of Cuomo’s initiative, saying in the release that the transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. She said Cuomo’s plan will provide consumers with vehicle options that are “both economically and environmentally conscious.”

“This is an exciting initiative that will make it easier for consumers to choose clean transportation,” added John Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA, in the release.

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