Illinois Suspends $4,000 EV Rebate Program

MAR 25 2015 BY JAY COLE 24

Illinois has one of the best plug-in vehicle rebate programs in the country…well, they did have one anyway.  A quick check of the Illinois Green Fleets website pretty much says it all now.

“Important Notice: The Alternate Fuel Rebate Program is currently suspended. Due to the suspension of the program, applications received by the Illinois EPA for calendar year 2014 are not being processed at this time. Please check back for future updates.”

The Nissan LEAF Lead EV Rebates Given In Illinois

The Nissan LEAF Lead EV Rebates Given In Illinois

Thus effectively ends the program that has seen some 13,000 rebates handed out between 1998 and 2013.

The program covered the cost difference between a BEV or a PHEV (or EREV as the program called them) and its equivalent counterpart up to $4,000.  The cars that had been covered in the program were:

  • Nissan Leaf (BEV)
  • Mitsubishi i Miev (BEV)
  • Ford Focus EV (BEV)
  • Smart “fortwo” EV (BEV)
  • Tesla Model S (BEV)
  • Chevrolet Volt (EREV)
  • Cadillac ELR (EREV)
  • BMW i3 (BEV, EREV)

According to Charged EVs, representatives from the Illinois EPA confirmed that there are no current plans to reinstate the rebate, or replace it with an alternate incentive program.

Hat tip to Barry Brents, Charged EVs


Categories: Sales


Leave a Reply

24 Comments on "Illinois Suspends $4,000 EV Rebate Program"

newest oldest most voted

Well that sucks.

actually the program that is paid for by taking a small deduction from your utility bill payment is then handed over to the Illinois department of economic development. IT IS NOT A TAX. you are however to have this money taken out of your electric bill. so I guess if they are discontinuing the program then they should stop taking the money out of our comed bills.

State Incentives Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Alternative Fuel Rebates The Illinois Alternate Fuels Rebate Program provides a rebate for 80%, up to $4,000, of the incremental cost of purchasing an AFV; 80%, up to $4,000, of the cost of converting a conventional vehicle to an AFV using a federally certified conversion; and the incremental cost of purchasing alternative fuels. Eligible fuels for the program include E85, fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20), natural gas, propane, electricity, and hydrogen. A vehicle may receive one rebate in its lifetime. Only AFVs purchased from an Illinois-based company or vendor may qualify, except if the vehicle is a heavy-duty specialty vehicle that is not sold in Illinois. To qualify for a fuel rebate, the entity or individual must purchase the majority of E85 or biodiesel fuel from Illinois retail stations or fuel suppliers. The E85 fuel rebate is up to $450 per year (depending on vehicle miles traveled) for up to three years for each flexible fuel vehicle that uses E85 at least half the time. The biodiesel fuel rebate (for B20 and higher blends) is for 80% of the incremental cost of the biodiesel fuel, as compared to conventional diesel.… Read more »

Dang it!! Had intended on using that on two vehicles this year. Means I can shop for the 2016 Volt out of state to see if I can get a better deal tho. Makes no diff on a Tesla Model X tho.

Well my kids did go to public colleges and of course I want our state to get out of debt and spend money wisely … of course, I considered the rebates to be wise spending 🙂

the state is not spending the money from taxes the money is collected from your utility bill. Then it is sent to the state of Illinois to fund the rebate program. It is not money from state dollars.

If they want to suspend the program going forward, that’s one thing.

But to retroactively deny all submissions from last year does not seem right. Many people made purchasing decisions based on their advertised rebates. Those rebates… by the way … are still being advertised on their web site:

Yes, at best what they are doing by denying 2014 applicants is reprehensible and unfair, at worst it is illegal. Of course legislators in Illinois are used to conducting business which flaunt conventions of legality and fairness.

I agree totally

Rebates were always subject to the availability of funds.

So apparently they ran out of rebate funds 15 months ago. And they didn’t tell anyone. And they still have not informed those expecting rebates. And today they are still distributing the forms to collect new $4,000 rebates:

I think this could be handled better.

“I think this could be handled better.”

I think this sums up government in Illinois.

I was always a little dubious of this program given state governments fiscal track record. glad I got mine before it went under. So long and thanks for all the rebates!

Too bad it couldn’t have been ratcheted down, rather than just eliminated.

Sounds like a class action suit coming!

Maybe they ran out of funds… though that has not been confirmed. Coincidentally their home Electric Vehicle Charging Rebate Program is still in place… for now; up to $3,000. It seems like a strange strategy seeing that EV’s are far from ubiquitous and home charging solutions can cost much less than $3,000 in many instances. Unless your actually strategy is to not help people buy an EV?

Then again having a Governor, Bruce Rauner, with ties to the Koch brothers could also be the problem.

If they ran out of funds, I would expect them to start denying new rebate claims. But that’s not what they’re doing.

When you send them a rebate claim, it takes up to a year for them to process it. So an entire year of rebate claims are in their queue, and they have all been suspended. That would mean they ran out of funds a year ago, but did not tell anyone.

The program is supposed to have a dedicated revenue stream written into law. So I’m a bit perplexed as well. Even if they were backlogged on processing applications, they should still have revenue coming in until the law is repealed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Rauner has something to do with this.

“..home charging solutions can cost much less than $3,000 in many instances”

That’s why it hasn’t run out of funds yet! Offer public something that they can’t use completely. To their credit, the home chargers used to cost a lot in the early days. Now, you get one for under $500 and it even came free with my Chevy Spark EV.

I don’t completely blame the govt. The funds need to come from somewhere. Next could be EV road tax, as they lose out on fuel taxes.

That is my point… get people into the cars. If funds are the issue, which again I haven’t read that’s the reason and don’t want to assume that, but if they are. Move funds from the charging program into the EV purchase program.

Yeah, the Bosch charger with the Spark EV was nice.

Real bummer as I purchased a 2015 Leaf last June. Furthermore IL has a 50% state grant on EVSE installations including parts and labor. When I reached out to the program PM for an update I received the following response:


It was reviewed and everything in it is fine. Unfortunately, we can’t process any payments at this time because of the spending freeze Governor Rauner implemented. All of the completed applications are being held until the freeze is lifted or we are told our program can proceed with payments.


Electric Vehicle Programs Intern
Energy Office, IDCEO
500 E Monroe St.
Springfield, IL 62701-1643

(Lesson Learned – Don’t apply for a state grant during an election year)

Yeah, that sucks . . . but with Illinois’ current budget situation. Well . . . there still is a federal tax-credit.


Anyone know a good Attorney?

Curiously, the state of Illinois gladly collected $3,000 in sales tax associated with the purchase of my 2014 EV, but now refuses to honor the inducement that they offered to get that $3,000 in sales tax in the first place. I would not have purchased an EV if the state’s additional inducement had not been in place, and prominently advertised. It’s wrong, and hopefully illegal, to offer an inducement to purchase, and then withdraw it retroactively. Hopefully, an attorney’s group is reviewing this improper inducement by the State of Illinois as a potential class action filing. Alternately, Governor Ruiner can dip into his own deep pockets and pay the State of Illinois’ incentive to 2014 EV purchasers, and then discontinue the program going forward, not BACKWARD, with proper advance notification of the cessation of the program.