Financing is still available for the electric vehicle rebate program

The RI OFFICE OF ENERGY RESOURCES said $483,750 of the $1.25 million in funding is still available for the DRIVE EV program that launched in July/ AP FILE PHOTO/NAM Y. HUH

PROVIDENCE – The electric vehicle rebate program, which began in July 2022 and is administered through the R.I. Office of Energy Resources, has approved 321 applications to date with $483,750 of the $1.25 million remaining, according to RIOER spokesman Robert Biddle.

Part of mandatory emissions reduction targets under the 2021 Climate Legislation, DRIVE EV provides up to $2,500 in rebates on the purchase or lease of new battery electric and fuel electric vehicles, and up to $1,500 on new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. for. Means of transport. There are also up to $1,500 in rebates for the purchase or lease of a used battery electric or fuel electric vehicle, and up to $750 for a used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

The agency is pleased with the public response so far, while “recognizing that there are several factors for consumers to buy electricity,” Biddle said. These include long maintenance times and purchase costs that are still on average higher than standard cars.

The program, which is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, is divided into two standard applications: DRIVE EV for individual consumers and DRIVE EV FLEET for businesses and non-profit organizations. A third category of funding called DRIVE+: provides additional incentives of up to $2,000 for income-eligible Rhode Islanders.

“OER’s goal is to sustain the DRIVE program long-term and will continue as long as funding remains,” Biddle said. The agency will conduct a one-year review of the program in July to evaluate the program “and make changes based on the results.”

According to Rhode Island Energy, there are currently more than 500 electric vehicle charging stations in the state. Asked if the state is pursuing EV infrastructure such as charging stations, Biddle said the agency is now working with the RI Department of Transportation and the RI Department of Environmental Management to implement $23 million in federal EV infrastructure funding. “Its growing EV penetration to [Rhode Island]”.

They expect to make these funds available to both public and private entities by the end of the year. In addition, Biddle said the office is “actively seeking funding opportunities” to start a new rebate program for the purchase and installation of home charging stations.

Approved applicants receive rebates in one payment by check within four to six weeks of final approval. The OER website has a map showing the distribution of approved applications by city and town. Providence led the state with 41 approvals, followed by Cranston [28] and Warwick [20].

The agency also provides classification of car brands. Tesla leads the way in this category with 83 confirmed applications, followed by 70 Chevrolets and 51 Hyundais.

Christopher Allen is a PBN staff writer. You can reach him at

(Update: first paragraph corrected for 321 submissions)

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