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Virginia Mercury: General Assembly Approves Electric Vehicle Rebate Program but Leaves it Unfunded

Posted by Sarah Vogelsong on Feb 27, 2021

Virginia Mercury quoted AEE’s Harry Godfrey on the General Assembly’s failure to fund an electric vehicle rebate program. Read excerpts below and the full story here.

While Virginia’s General Assembly has committed to adopt stricter transportation emissions standards by 2025 that will encourage more widespread use of electric vehicles, lawmakers’ final budget includes no funding for a rebate program intended to bring down the vehicles’ cost for consumers...

[Del. David] Reid’s proposal to create the rebate program passed both the House of Delegates and the Senate on the last day of the legislative session after lengthy negotiations. 

In its final form, the program, which would begin Jan. 1, 2022,  would offer buyers a $2,500 rebate for the purchase of a new or used electric vehicle. An “enhanced rebate” of $2,000 would also be available to buyers whose household income is less than 300 percent of current poverty guidelines. 

An earlier version of the budget passed by the House of Delegates included Reid’s requested $5 million in funds for the program, although the Senate’s version did not. The final budget that emerged from negotiations between the two chambers last week eliminated rebate funding altogether…

Harry Godfrey, executive director of Virginia Advanced Energy Economy, a business group that advocates for renewables development, called the lack of funding “a surprising disappointment.” 

“We’re not going to electrify Virginia’s transportation system overnight, but rebates are an important part of achieving that,” he said… 

The state budget is only one possible source of funds for the program. A report by a Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy-led work group from 2020 identified a range of possible funding sources, including new transportation-related taxes and fees and the controversial cap-and-invest Transportation and Climate Initiative Program.

Read the full story

Topics: AEE In The News