electric vehicle charging station connecticut

Conflicting Decisions About Connecticut’s Electric Vehicle Policies

SHR Energy Management Industry Snapshot, News, Solar Energy, Solar Policy Initiatives

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released a highly-anticipated state report draft surrounding electric vehicle (EV) policy options. The report is intended to outline the state’s policy framework for accelerating the adoption of EVs. Interestingly, only one day prior to the report’s public release, officials dramatically reduced statewide EV rebates. This decision appears to be at odds with the report’s stated goal of encouraging state residents to adopt EVs.

Electric Vehicle Roadmap for Connecticut

Known as the “Electric Vehicle Roadmap for Connecticut,” this report enlists policies and strategies that could assist Connecticut in reaching its clean energy goals. The state aims to convert 500,000 fossil-fuel-powered vehicles to electric by 2030 as a result of these initiatives. The policy framework laid out in the EV Roadmap report acts as a major catalyst for electric vehicle conversion in Connecticut. However, the concurrent policy change that reduces electric vehicle rebates appears to undermine the state’s ability to achieve its clean energy goals.

Connecticut’s Electric Vehicle Rebate Program

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate program, or CHEAPR, offers incentives of up to $5,000 for Connecticut residents who purchase a new battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). To be eligible for the rebates, vehicles must be highway capable, sold by a licensed Connecticut auto dealer, and have a base MSRP under $42,000 for BEV or PHEV and under $60,000 for FCEV.

Incentive AmountEPA Rated Electric Range
$5,000Any fuel cell electric vehicle
$1,500BEV: 200 Miles or Greater
$500BEV: Less than 200 miles
$500Any PHEV

Introduced in 2015, the CHEAPR program has issued more than 5,500 rebates totaling over $10 million. However, less than $200,000 of funding remains available to the CHEAPR program. The dwindling funds are the cause for the recent reduction in incentives. CHEAPR is set to be re-established in early 2020 under Public Act 19-177. Additional funds may be made available at that time.

Over $15 million of funding over the next five years will provide rebates for 11,000 and 14,500 EVs. However, the CHEAPR Program requires a substantial amount of additional funding beyond the $15 million for it to continue providing sustainable rebates while working toward the state’s 2030 electric vehicle conversion goal. The diminishing funds that once encouraged consumers and accelerated the Electric Vehicle conversion rate may reflect Connecticut’s ongoing fiscal issues.

A board member shift alongside decreased fund allocation has prompted clean transportation advocates to question the commitment of state leaders to policy suggestions raised in the roadmap draft report. 

Under the leadership of Founder Noel Lafayette of Weston CT, SHR Energy Management has delivered comprehensive solar energy solutions for over a decade. Noel Lafayette is experienced in navigating the complexities of the solar industry, including regulatory matters, financial incentives, and renewable energy credit markets. SHR handles commercial, municipal, and utility projects ranging in size from 200kw to 25MW and assists clients in identifying financing sources, and navigating state/local regulations and incentives. For more information, contact us today.