In addition to the customer rebates, the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program will provide dealers with bonuses for selling electric or hydrogen vehicles.
(TNS) -- Connecticut is offering a cash rebate of up to $3,000 to people who buy an electric car.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the incentive program Tuesday, building on the state's push to build out a network of charging stations and expand its commitment to promote the use of electric vehicles.
In addition to the customer rebates, the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program will provide dealers with bonuses for selling electric or hydrogen vehicles to incentivize dealerships and their sales staffs.
"This rebate puts money right back into people's pockets and makes the cost of purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle competitive with the price of a conventional car," Malloy said in a statement.
The incentive program is funded by $1 million that Connecticut received in approving the 2012 merger of Northeast Utilities and NStar, the combined company now called Eversource Energy.
In all, $800,000 will be used for cash rebates, while $200,000 is set aside for dealer bonuses. The funds are enough to offer rebates for 457 electric or hydrogen vehicles, if the purchases are allocated across the program's three rebate levels.
When the $1 million runs out the rebate program will end, unless additional funding becomes available, the governor said. Connecticut has 1,625 electric vehicles registered as of May 18.
The rebates are available to Connecticut residents, businesses and municipalities that buy or lease electric vehicles.
Fifteen vehicle models that qualify for rebates are made by Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, FIAT, Ford, Kia, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, smart, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Toyota.
Tesla Motors is left off the list for two reasons. One, it does not sell vehicles in Connecticut, though it is pursuing legislation to sell its cars directly to customers. And two, the rebates only apply to cars for sale under $60,000; Tesla's Model S starts at $75,000, though its Model 3, slated for 2017, is expected to start at $35,000.
Fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles that have an at least 18-kilowatt battery qualify for a $3,000 cash rebate. Electric vehicles with a battery between 7 kilowatts and 18 kilowatts will receive a $1,500 rebate. And electric vehicles with a battery smaller than 7 kilowatts get $750.
The federal government offers a tax rebate from $2,500 to $7,500. The size of that rebate, too, depends on the battery size.
Sales bonuses for dealerships are 10 percent of the amount of the customer bonus, according to Dennis Schain, a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
He said the idea for a sales incentive — in addition to a customer incentive — came from looking at how car manufacturers offer bonuses to dealerships and sales people.
"This is something new, not only for consumers but for sales representatives," Schain said. "There's a little something for them for making that effort. It's a new product introduction."
©2015 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.