Rhode Island’s DRIVE EV Program Encourages Sustainable Transport
Written by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Published March 16, 2023
Rhode Island is offering new incentives to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles with its new DRIVE EV program.
The program, which pushes for both individual and fleet EV purchases, offers rebates based on a consumer’s choice to drive a sustainable powertrain. It is one of the newer programs in the country, and can be combined with federal incentives to drive further savings on electric vehicles.
DRIVE EV offers rebates of up to $2,500 for car buyers who purchase or lease a new fully-electric or fuel-cell EV, and $1,500 for used electric vehicles, as well as for new plug-in hybrid EVs, helping incentivize powertrains that may not be as sustainable as a fully-electric vehicle, but still are a better option from an environmental standpoint compared to a gas-powered car.
The vehicles must be purchased at a licensed Rhode Island automobile dealership, must be registered in the state, and must be purchased by a resident of RI.
The incentives will only apply to new EVs up to $60,000 and used EVs up to $40,000. Used EVs have held their value well and are sometimes more expensive than new EVs due to their availability in the market. Supply chain constraints have made getting some new vehicles tough to come by.
“There is a big push to go electric and to reduce the carbon footprint in Rhode Island,” said Sara Canabaro, administrator for clean energy transportation at the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, according to WPRI.
For fleets, businesses can use the DRIVE EV FLEET portion of the program. This will also provide $2,500 for new EVs and $1,500 for used EVs.
Drivers will have 120 days to apply for the rebates, and the check can take four to six weeks to arrive in the mailbox.
The rebates can be stacked with the federal EV tax credits, which can offer as much as $7,500 off of qualifying EVs.
Stacking rebates at a state level with federal incentives can result in huge savings. In Oregon, some car buyers were able to buy a Tesla Model 3 for as little as $27,000, as state and federal incentives took as much as $15,000 off the purchase price.