Rebates Drive Up EV Sales By 74% In New York


Rebates Drive Up Plug-In Electric Car Sales By 74% In New York

New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office has announced that the new state rebate of up to $2,000 off new plug-in purchases, has contributed to the high growth of plug-in electric vehicle sales in across the state.

Toyota Prius Prime

The Drive Clean Rebate was introduced on March 21, and since then (between April and June), sales have increased 74% year-over-year from 1,476 to 2,574.

“The Drive Clean Rebate provides New York residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a new electric car from participating dealers.

The initiative supports Governor Cuomo’s aggressive goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 by encouraging the growth of clean and non-polluting electric car use in New York.”

New York has spent more than $3 million on the incentives, and most of people received rebates of $1,100 or more.

Interestingly, more than 40% of rebates were used to purchase the new Toyota Prius Prime model. The Chevrolet Bolt EV was responsible for 12%, while the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Fusion Energi both for 10%.

In the first half of the year overall, sales have increased by 61%, from 2,609 to 4,209 plug-ins delivered. However we must also note that the growth was strong also in the first quarter.

And while the credit has surely assisted in boosting EV adoption, we do have to note that in other regions where a new rebate was either put on the table or taken off the table, the prior period generally reflects the coming change.

So if something is being taken away, sales surge ahead of that change with customers looking to get in on the deal (think Netherlands as an example); whereas a incentive on the horizon causes short term registrations to dry up as consumers wait on the coming bonus (think Germany).

Time Period



Percent Change

Jan – March




April – June




Total EVs sold




New York also intends to increase the number of public charging stations from 1,700 currently to 3,000 in 2018.

More details about the Drive Clean Rebate:

“The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which administers the rebate program, approved more than 2,300 rebate applications in the first five full months rebates have been available (March – August). In total, more than $3 million in rebates were provided to New Yorkers for the purchase or lease of 26 different types of cars. Leading car models sold include the Toyota Prius Prime, which accounted for more than 40 percent of the rebates, the Chevrolet Bolt EV (12 percent), Chevrolet Volt (10 percent), and the Ford Fusion Energi (10 percent). Overall, most people received rebates of $1,100 or more for their new electric cars.”

“Of the 2,332 Drive Clean Rebate applications submitted through August 31, 2017, approximately 33 percent were submitted by Long Island consumers (779 applications), followed by consumers in the Mid-Hudson region (404 applications – 17.3 percent), Capital District (276 applications – 12 percent), and Finger Lakes (251 applications – 11 percent).

Rebate Applications Submitted by region:

Long Island






Capital District



Finger Lakes



New York City



Western NY



Central NY



Southern Tier



Mohawk Valley



North Country



*Through August 31, 2017: 2,332 total applications

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile. Carbon emission savings from cars receiving rebates under this initiative is expected to be 115,000 metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road.

The Drive Clean Rebate is a $70 million electric car rebate and outreach initiative to encourage the growth of clean and non-polluting electric car use in New York and promote the reduction of carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The goal is to provide rebates to consumers over the next few years to increase sales and build market momentum, which will in turn drive down vehicle prices for consumers.

Of this, $55 million is dedicated to rebates of up to $2,000 for purchase of a new plug-in hybrid electric car, all-electric car or hydrogen fuel cell car. The remaining $15 million will support improving consumer awareness of electric cars and their many benefits, installing more charging stations across the state, developing and demonstrating new electric car-enabling technologies, and other efforts to put more electric cars on New York’s roadways.

More than 30 different types of electric cars are available under the Drive Clean Rebate initiative. For information on the benefits of electric vehicles, types of cars and models eligible for rebates and rebate levels, locations or participating dealers, a map of New York State charging stations, and directions on home charging options, visit NYSERDA’s Drive Clean Rebate website.

The Drive Clean Rebate initiative is just one of many actions taken by Governor Cuomo to increase the number of electric cars in New York State. Earlier this year, the Governor announced a new electric vehicle campaign that includes the installation of charging stations and incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles, as well as the installation of charging stations along the New York State Thruway. The charging stations support the State’s Charge NY goal to have 3,000 charging stations installed by 2018.

Last week Governor Cuomo announced the availability of $2.2 million from the Environmental Protection Fund in rebates for municipalities to purchase or lease electric, (plug-in hybrid or battery) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for municipal fleet use, and for installation of public charging or fuel cell refueling infrastructure. The state has also revised regulations to clarify charging station ownership rules, and supported research and demonstration projects on new plug-in electric car technologies and policies. In addition, the New York Power Authority has invited municipalities to tap into a master contract that offers better pricing for the supply, installation and maintenance of charging stations. The Governor also announced previously the availability of another $3 million to help eligible municipalities and rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric vehicles for use in their municipal use fleets.

About Charge NY

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Charge NY initiative will accelerate the growth of the electric vehicle market in New York State through education, research, consumer outreach, and financial support for the installation of charging stations across New York. More than 1,700 electric vehicle charging stations have already been installed toward Charge NY’s goal of 3,000 charging stations by 2018. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York Power Authority and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation collaborate on this initiative as part of the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.”

source: New York

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9 Comments on "Rebates Drive Up EV Sales By 74% In New York"

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Hhmmm… this seems to contradict with what many people say here in that people don’t really care or in many cases even know about such rebates.

The amount is also relatively low when compared to say other places like Hong Kong where it was pretty clear rebates and incentives were to thank in large part for the sale of more EVs so it seems that even smaller rebates can make a big difference.

Will be interesting to see what the lack of a state rebate in CA does. Well, the lack of a rebate for anyone really who has the $ to spend and can afford an EV or even a new car for that matter.

When did the CA rebate stop?

Per “Leading car models sold include the Toyota Prius Prime, which accounted for more than 40 percent of the rebates” seems a great example of what a small rebate does for less expensive cars with plugs: it makes cheaper cars affordable, but doesn’t make expensive cars as affordable, so their uptake at 12% for the Bolt is logical.

These rebates also obviously excluded Tesla, since “Dealers” don’t sell them, and they are probably above the Max Qualifying price, but I wonder what their sales growth was in New York over the same period?

I would love to know how an Ontario rebate of $14,000.00 would make a difference. That is a lot of discount. The Tesla model S is too expensive to qualify for a big rebate.

The Tesla does qualify for a rebate in Ontario, as does the Porsche 918? ( if that is the right model number). I leased a Volt because of the $14,000 rebate and have driven electrically for 7,000 of the 10,000 kilometres the vehicle as been driven. The other 3,000 come from highway trips.
Love the car and when the lease is up, I will be getting another PHEV or BEV, if they have longer range ones by 2021. The electric driving experience is something I never want to give up, now that I have experienced it.

That is huge and perhaps a bit high in terms of value transfer from the tax revenues to individuals for what level of community gain? Imagine your neighbor buying a Bolt EV, getting $14,000 and then driving it once a week to Sunday church? We need to put the money into good use with high “movement” per dollar spent.

How about a rebate that is based on EV miles driven? Original owner could get say $.10/mile for the first 60,000 miles. The more you drive, the more you earn the rebate. Those with long commutes would get a nice annual check or discount on their registration fees. Who should we route incentives to? Those who make the most use of them.

With this variety of programs implemented, it can be said that state government in New York is supporting the adoption of EVs. Participation seems, from a perspective outside of state government, to have been most quickly picking up on the individual consumer side, and not as much on the employer and municipality sides. The state initiative turning its major interstate thoroughfare toll road into an EV charging corridor has been slow to roll out and has stumbled a bit, and perhaps needs a more targeted policy. Incentives which make charging infrastructure more affordable to municipalities may not be enough incentive to create a well-functioning network.
EV manufacturers, dealers, and buyers have the most to celebrate in these “rebate” initiatives, and they were popularly demanded. Here’s hoping that the state’s resources are also put to use with greater leverage to achieve the greenhouse gas emission targets that the Drive Clean initiative in total was meant to support.

The Math is getting simpler and simpler with these State incentives. We all breath better, Our kids might live longer for relatively small rebate. I recently converted my Brother-in-law from his gas guzzling muscle car and truck to an EV by looking at the math. He’s spending $500/month on a 70 mile daily commute. $15/day vs $3 in an EV. That is gas cost alone, not adding maintenance. One costly service in exchange for the installation of an EVSE, and you’re done. Rotate the tires, Change the cabin filter every 10K miles.
Gov Cuomo needs to spend the money on charging infrastructure of DC fast charger, not L2. Fed incentives and state incentives almost make that cost neutral to do at your own home or business. The LIE 495 has only one DC station at Ext 50/51. Where are the 3/4 others that would make it truly functional?

Looks like the rebate is responsible for around 30% of the bump, not all 74% since sales were already up 44% before it started.