Looking Back, Moving Forward

Looking in the Rearview Camera Back Over a Busy 2021

As the year winds to a close, we take this opportunity to give our sincere thanks to all who have joined us for our meetings, events, advocacy, and information efforts. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!


2021 was a disappointing year for climate legislation with our top priorities of direct sales, TCI, and adoption of the California emission standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles not making it through the legislature.

The EV Club worked with the other members of the CT EV Coalition on these efforts but the Club was the tip of the spear on direct sales. We wrote blog posts and op-eds such as here (Hartford Courant)and here (CT Mirror). We called, emailed and met with legislators and gave testimony in support of SB 127, a bill we call EV Freedom. Our social media team did an outstanding job promoting direct sales and debunking bad PR meant to sow confusion and doubt about direct sales. Club member Will Cross – also Communications Director for Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut – built a platform, evfreedomct.com, to educate and inform the public about the bill, allow readers to show support by signing a petition and using social media to reach legislators and share excellent EV footage debunking many of the myths being advanced about direct sales.

The EV Freedom Bill made it out of the Transportation Committee but did not get called for a vote in the Senate. We were told that we were 1 vote shy. The bill will be reintroduced by Senator Haskell in 2022.

We held a well-attended press conference, as seen in these photos, with state officials, environmental organizations, labor, and others speaking.

Crowd at SB 127 Press ConferenceBarry Kresch, EV Club President, Speaking at SB 127 Press ConferenceSenator Haskell, Senator DuffModel Y and Lucid Air

We had support from Tesla and Lucid and were graced by the presence of a Model Y and the Lucid Air. Also, Rivian brought a pre-production R1T to Hartford and gave rides to legislators, followed by a small reception for club-members in New Haven. This was the vehicle’s first appearance in the state.EV Club CT and Rivian R1T


We thank the bill sponsors, Senator Haskell and Representative Steinberg, our friends at the CT Tesla Owners Club, and all of our members and others who reached out to their representatives, wrote an op-ed, or gave testimony before the legislature.

The only way this bill will pass is if constituents keep the pressure on. 2022 is an election year and it is the time to make our voices heard. We will be asking everyone to reach out again. Each year starts anew. If you have contacted your representatives in the past, memory is fleeting; it is important to do so again. Our state’s ability to meet its EV and emission reduction goals depends on it, not to mention that it has overwhelming consumer support. We will be communicating more specifics about the policy agenda for 2022 as they become available.

The footprint of the club continues to expand. We have now become a go-to source for press when comments about EV-related news are sought, including a recent, not as yet published article from CNN.com. The EV Club has also been invited to sit on the policy committee of the (national) Electric Vehicle Association (formerly the Electric Auto Association) even though we are not a chapter. The EVA formally endorses direct sales and will be another resource for us.


  • The EV Club again partnered with Sustainable Fairfield to stage an EV Parade from Westport to Fairfield for National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). This year it was followed by an EV showcase at the parade terminus with speakers. Cars parked before the EV parade - EV C;lub CT
  • We supported as best we could other NDEW events held around the state, such as a successful event at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
  • We were pleased to again support the Electric Car Guest Drive folks at their ride and drive event in Montgomery, NY.

Speaking Engagements

  • AIACT – All electric home and BEVs webinar for architects
  • Sustainable Essex – Deep dive into EV charging
  • Route 7 EV Corridor dedication

Barry Kresch from EV Club of CT and other speakers at ribbon cutting for Route 7 EV Corridor designation

  • Municipal Police EV Adoption Workshop
  • West Hartford Environment Committee
  • Sustainable Weston
  • Sierra Club Hartford
  • Save the Sound Legislative Panel
  • Webinar (Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel!) – How to Save on an EV and Get Free Charging

(We will be updating our incentive content. There is a lot of news on the near-term horizon with the PURA/utility incentives about to be finalized, and the possibility of major changes to the federal purchase incentive in the Build Back Better bill.)


  • Two updates to the EV Dashboard with more charts added.
  • Track of CHEAPR performance, which continues to under-perform (that means allocated funds are underspent)
  • Financial Analysis of Westport Police Model 3 patrol car, along with modeling out the financial implications for fleet adoption.

Select Meeting Speakers

  • Marissa Gillett, Chair of Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, spoke about the upcoming EV Rate Design.
  • Congressman Himes – A look forward to climate legislation
  • Citizens Climate Lobby – Dr. Roger Kuhns discussed a proposal for a carbon tax with dividend.
  • Stephen Wagner of South Windsor Planning and Zoning discussed using zoning regulations to improve charging access
  • Kim Pacquette, early Tesla FSD beta tester spoke early in the year, followed by a recent panel of local drivers who have the received the recent upgrade

Westport Fire Department

EV Club Members loaned their vehicles for training so first responders can learn how to handle the cables and where to cut if necessary. We have had another request, this one from the Bethel Fire Department. We are waiting on a firm date before asking for volunteers. All that is involved is leaving the vehicle for a few hours so they can look at the wiring.

Firefighters observing the wiring on a Tesla Model 3

Club members participated in a fund-raiser to help Louisiana residents after the hurricanes. It was a grassroots effort driven by Tesla owners and coordinated with local LA resident, Clean Technica journalist, Johnna Crider.

Finally, this post is being composed on giving Tuesday, though it most likely will not make it live until Wednesday (yep, that’s what happened). The EV Club does not take donations, but several of our esteemed partners on the EV Coalition would be happy for any largess, for example, Save the Sound, The Sierra Club, Acadia Center, League of Conservation Voters, Electric Vehicle Association. If you are considering further giving options this year, please consider them.

Please scroll to the bottom of the home page to fill out the form to join the club (free) and sign up for our email blasts inviting you to our virtual meetings and events.

Plug In America Unplugs

Dealers Pressure Plug In America to Back Away From Direct Sales

Plug In America (PIA) has up until now played an important advocacy role in the effort to pass SB 127 in Connecticut and similar direct sales laws in other states. They acted as a clearinghouse for a lot of information from economists, academics and others that supported our arguments for EV Freedom, and did a lot of coordinating between the numerous parties involved, including the EV Club, manufacturers, environmental organizations, lobbyists, among others.

As of now, however, the coordination Zooms have stopped and the content has been removed from the PIA website. We had copies of some of the content, and what we have is now posted on the EV Club website.

PIA has a business called PlugStar. It is a training program to help dealerships become more effective at selling EVs. The dealers pay for this and it is a meaningful revenue stream for PIA. The dealers threatened to terminate their arrangements with PlugStar unless PIA stopped supporting direct sales. The board of PIA has caved and directed that the ongoing advocacy efforts in this area cease. This is not just a CT thing.

Needless to say, those of us in the EV community were gobsmacked by this “pulling the rug out from under” move at a critical time. And we’re surprised the organization doesn’t have bylaws in place to provide separation and deal with what seems an obvious potential for conflict. We blame PIA for compromising their principles, but, of course, it was the dealers that put them in this position. They show their colors that competition is good for everyone except themselves.

This is from the PIA website:

Plug In America is a non-profit, supporter-driven advocacy group. We are the voice of plug-in vehicle drivers across the country.

It is clear that the position they are taking runs counter to their mission and that they have now become the voice of entrenched interests blocking progress.

Our club would like to see dealers up their game when it comes to selling EVs, but we don’t agree with the franchise laws being used to stifle competition. The majority of EV sales, both nationally and in CT, are from direct sales.

To the extent that club members and readers of this blog donate to PIA, we recommend sending those funds to other organizations instead. You can find a long list of worthy options in the CT Electric Vehicle Coalition.

The EV Club has also filed a Freedom on Information Act Request to obtain the relevant backup documents underlying the decision.

New Program Rules Adopted by CHEAPR Board

Higher Incentive Levels, Low MSRP Cap, New Income-Limited Incentives

Note: This page is updated to note that the new incentive levels have been implemented as of June 7, 2021. The CHEAPR home page has been updated but we think the explanation below is clearer. If you do look at the CHEAPR page, please ignore the $9500 incentive headline. Nobody will get that level of incentive. It would only apply to an income-limited individual buying a fuel-cell vehicle this year, which is ridiculous since there aren’t any fuel-cell vehicles for sale in the state, and how would an income-limited individual afford an expensive fuel-cell vehicle.

An updated set of rules was adopted by a 6-3 vote of the CHEAPR board that supersedes the last rule change made in October 2019. Here are the most relevant changes:

BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle, PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, MSRP = retail price

Major Changes

  • No difference in incentive levels based upon EV range.
  • Higher incentive levels for the remainder of 2021.
  • New income-limited incentive for used EVs
  • New income limited supplemental incentive for new EVs
  • Likely effective date is on or about April 1.

There is no longer a difference in the size of the incentive as it relates to the range of any given BEV. Incentives are higher across the board. The MSRP cap was left unchanged at $42,000. There are new income-limited incentives for used EVs and a supplemental incentive for new EVs. The supplemental gets added to the base incentive for qualifying income-limited individuals buying a new BEV or PHEV. There is no MSRP cap for a used EV.

The CHEAPR incentive limit has been increased to twice per driver per lifetime. And the clock resets as of June. If you already received a CHEAPR rebate before then, you are entitled to two more. (It is different than the federal tax credit which can be used each time someone buys or leases a new EV.)

Other CHEAPR Program Details

There is still a fuel cell incentive and the MSRP cap for an FCEV is still $60,000, though there is none of that type of vehicle being brought into the state presently.

Dealers receive an incentive of up to $125. This, once upon a time, was higher. DEEP, in its analysis for its EV Roadmap, questioned whether the dealer incentive accomplished its objective because most of the time it was not being passed along to the salesperson, which was the basic idea. However, it remains in this reduced form.

Income-Limited Incentives and Eligibility

The incentive for a used EV applies to purchases from a licensed dealer. This applies to any dealer of used cars, not just new car dealers that also sell used vehicles. It does not apply to private sales.

An individual’s eligibility for the income-limited incentive is determined by whether that person is already participating in certain assistance programs. Administratively, this is simpler than performing an income verification, but it still takes a few steps and involves a lag in receiving the money. These are the programs that are determinative:

Assistance for Low Income People

Unlike the way the primary part of the program works, where it can be cash on the hood, the buyer completes an application to confirm eligibility based on one of these programs. DEEP estimates that it will take about a month to process the paperwork at which point a rebate check will be issued. This process can be done online (desktop or mobile) or via postal mail. This is the workflow:

CHEAPR Rebate Workflow

Since nobody wants an applicant to get a surprise denial, DEEP promises outreach and education so that buyers understand what is involved and whether they qualify before filling out the application.

Incentive Structure

As noted in the table at the top of the page, someone buying a new BEV will receive a $2250 incentive. However, the way it is actually structured is that the base incentive of $1500 from the current program is actually retained and a “stimulus increase” of 50% is added to it. This additional stimulus is earmarked for calendar 2021, funds permitting. It will be tracked and reviewed regularly. This is why you get that odd $1125 number for a used PHEV. The base is a more neatly rounded $750. Each incentive size will then revert to its base level in 2022. We will update our information as it gets confirmed closer to the end of the year.

Start Date

The changes take effect as of June 7th, 2021. The income limited used and supplemental incentives are now ongoing, but the higher incentive levels may revert to the old levels at the end of 2021.

Our Take

The Connecticut EV Coalition made a proposal to the board that would have raised the stimulus to $2500 for BEVs and the MSRP cap to $50,000. The incentive including the stimulus adder is close to our proposal but the MSRP cap remains at a level that excludes too many vehicles. According to Cox Automotive, the average cost of an EV is $55,600. MSRP caps exist in other states but at much higher levels: MA – $50,000, NJ – $55,000, NY – $60,000. Given that the program was about 70% underspent in 2020, we expect it will underperform in 2021, though to a lesser degree.

We like the introduction of the equity aspect of the program, particularly the used EV incentive, as this market is not well-developed.

This structure of an incentive plus a stimulus adder is not the most consumer-friendly formulation. This allows the incentive to revert to a lower level after this year without making a formal change to the program. It is administratively convenient, but it has the potential to be confusing. To the consumer, it will still be a change. We think the incentive should be the incentive and if it needs to be changed, it needs to be changed.

The fuel cell incentive is there because the state is trying to be supportive of this industry. We are not sure if there will be a compelling and cost-effective case for hydrogen in light-duty vehicles, especially green hydrogen. Be that as it may, our main issue with this is the way it has consistently been used as a misleading headline. It has now been made even more misleading.


It Is Time for EV Freedom

Direct Sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs) Should Be Permitted in CT

Post by Barry Kresch

Governor Lamont has signed onto the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional cap and invest plan. At the same time, the state is falling behind the goals set forth in the Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan. The time has come to permit direct sales of EVs in CT.

Consumers deserve to come first and should be able to freely choose EVs that fit their lifestyles, needs, and budgets to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and more rapidly transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Outdated dealer franchise laws have been used as protectionism to prevent Tesla and other new EV manufacturers from opening stores in CT.

The EV Club is behind a new act, The EV Freedom Bill, that has been submitted to the legislature. It proposes that manufacturers that produce exclusively electric vehicles and have no existing franchised dealer network be permitted to sell their vehicles directly to the consumer. The definition of “sell” is inclusive. It encompasses sales, leasing, delivery, and service. It is important to specify these components. For example, even though Tesla has gained the right to lease (and conduct test drives) at its Milford service center, customers still have to go to New York to pick up their vehicles. (Even residents of the eastern part of the state must go to NY – they are not permitted to avail themselves of Tesla facilities in RI or MA.) The proposed bill also allows for new “ownership” models, such as subscription. The world is changing.

The bill obligates manufacturers to meet existing consumer protection laws (i.e. lemon laws) or regulations and to have an adequate plan to service their vehicles within the state.

Multi-State ZEV Action Plan

The state of CT is a signatory to the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan. This plan commits to getting 150,000 EVs on the road by 2025 and 500,000, about 20% of the fleet, by 2030. There were 12,624 as of July 1, 2020. That means we would need a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.29% to hit the 2030 number, which translates to the state being in a pretty big hole. The chart below tracks needed CAGR for each data point I have since 2017. In this case, a rising line is a bad thing. (An updated number for January 1 is due to be reported soon.)

Compound Annual Growth Rate Needed to Meet ZEV MOU Goals
The required compound annual growth rate required to meet ZEV goals has been increasing since Jan 2019 due to slow increases in registered EVs.

The ZEV Action Plan sets a goal but has no enforcement mechanism. It consequently relies on legislators, regulators, and citizens to make good decisions in order to get us there. The EV Freedom Bill is something that can have real near-term impact. Unlike other measures, such as purchase incentives, this will not cost the state any money. To the contrary, opening the state to innovative EV business models will increase buyer choice while positively contributing to public health, the achievement of our stated ZEV and emission-reduction goals, while generating revenue.

Opposition From Entrenched Interests

The roadblock to direct sales has been the dealership franchise laws. These laws, dating to the 1930’s, were passed at the time to protect independent business people who were opening dealerships to retail and service the products of an affiliated manufacturer. That was the manufacturers’ preferred method of expansion. But independent businesses, having gone to the trouble of establishing a market locally, sought to protect themselves from the possibility that an affiliated manufacturer would open up across the street and put them out of business. At the risk of repetition, the point was dealers seeking protection from their own affiliated manufacturers. These laws have now been re-purposed to prevent a manufacturer that doesn’t have a dealer network from opening stores. (It is due to these laws being so old that Tesla is now able to lease from its New Milford facility. Leasing didn’t exist at the time the laws were written and, therefore, wasn’t specifically prohibited.)

The auto dealership and manufacturer associations have effectively mobilized to block direct sales when it has come before the legislature in the past. They’re effective lobbyists. We would like to see them devote this level of effort to selling EVs.

Existing Auto Companies/Dealerships Not Selling EVs

It pains me to type that headline and I hope it changes at some point. This club supports all EVs, but we also have to recognize reality, and consider that this industry needs to evolve or adapt its model.

Tesla and other EV companies don’t want dealerships. Their position is that this model doesn’t work for them and they have a point! Legacy manufacturers have been slow to pivot to EVs and dealers have been even slower to sell them. This has been reported on extensively, by the NY Times, by the Sierra Club (74% of dealers nationally were not selling EVs in 2019), and others, including the EV Club of CT.

In the most recent EV Club analysis of DMV data, we saw that from July 2019 to July 2020, there was a net increase of 1827 EVs in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ registration file. 1361 of these were Tesla, a whopping 74%.

Club analysis of CHEAPR data similarly shows that less than 40% of the dealerships in the state have disbursed at least 10 rebates over the course of 5 plus years.

Aside from direct sales, other models are bubbling to the surface. One striking example is in Germany where Volkswagen has given up on its dealers to sell EVs. The company has gotten some good reviews for its ID.3 model (not available in the US) and has a larger, forthcoming ID.4 for which it is taking reservations. Sales of these vehicles in Germany are handled through VW Corporate. The dealers act as agents, providing test drives and delivering vehicles, for which they receive a fee. Importantly, the dealers do not take title to the cars, which changes the sales dynamic completely. This means that VW is taking on a major risk in terms of carrying costs, but nonetheless, feels it is worth it. UPDATE – Apparently, it is worth it. FeedSpot reports that with a successful introduction of the ID.3 in September, “Volkswagen passenger cars managed to leap to the number one spot in all-electric vehicles over the full-year 2020 with a share of 23.8% in Germany…”

It’s Not Only About Tesla

There are numerous EV startups poised to enter the market, and several that are taking reservations, such as Rivian and Lucid, have announced they plan to sell directly to consumers.

Even though the word “Tesla” was not included in previous versions of “direct sales” bills, those bills were written in such a way that they were only applicable to Tesla. The EV Freedom Bill applies to all EV manufacturers without a dealer network.

It Is About the Consumer

A study by Cox found that just one in three consumers were “very satisfied” with the dealership experience.

The Federal Trade Commission has blogged about this subject. Two sentences: “Dealers contend that it is important for regulators to prevent abuses of local dealers. This rationale appears unsupported…” “Such change can sometimes be difficult for established competitors that are used to operating in a particular way, but consumers can benefit from change that also challenges longstanding competitors.”

It Is About Connecticut

CT is the only state in the region that does not permit direct sales. Keeping out companies that manufacture environmentally friendly products sends exactly the wrong message to the kinds of innovative companies we seek to attract to the state to grow the economy. It undercuts what the state is communicating with the TCI, offshore wind, and the ZEV MOU.

Tesla and these new companies want to sell EVs in CT. Let’s let them. Let’s encourage them. Let’s buy them!


The bill now has a number: SB 127.

Please join us and reach out to your state legislators telling them you support this bill.  We need to lower our carbon footprint now. This really is a power of the people moment. If they hear from you, they will take notice.

An easy option is to use the Engage page that Tesla has set up. Non-Tesla owners can use it, though you will need to set up an account. It has a form letter, which can be customized. It will know who your legislators are.

You are also welcome to write your own thoughts. This is an online page that enables you to find out who your legislators are.





September CHEAPR Stats Update and Pending Vote

Spike in Model 3 Rebates leads to Slightly Stronger Rebate Activity in September

The September data were published on Friday, Oct. 30th, and show 84 rebates awarded with a $104,000 spend. Also, August was restated with rebates increasing from 40 to 44. A restatement of the prior month is common with these data releases.

The base-level trim of the Model 3 can still qualify for a rebate, even under the lowered $42,000 MSRP cap, and when those numbers are up, it raises the overall level. There were 37 Model 3 rebates, followed by 15 from the Chevy Bolt, possibly driven by some significant discounting. The spend level was $104,000, still pacing well under the allocated budget.

September CHEAPR Rebates

Rebate awards total $402,000 for all of 2020 through September against an annual budget of $3,000,000 (less admin and dealer incentives).

Pending Vote

CHEAPR changed the size of the rebates and the MSRP eligibility cap in 2019, which led to a large drop in the number of rebates awarded and the dollar amount spent. This was done at the time out of concern for the possibility of funds running dry late last year. Ever since then, there has been an announcement on the CHEAPR home page that revised rules will be coming in 2020. New rules were finally proposed in July. There was much disagreement about the proposal. Subsequent meetings in August, September, and October failed to resolve differences. No proposal has yet to be brought up for a vote. No meeting date is posted as of Nov 1. The CT EV Coalition does not like the incentive structure as originally proposed.

DEEP has asked their consultant, the CSE to go back and model additional scenarios. There are a number of variables in play, including an income-limited used EV incentive, an income-limited supplemental incentive, temporary stimulus incentive during this period of a weak economy, size of the rebate, and MSRP budget cap. We have blogged about a number of these issues before – here and here most recently.

The biggest sticking point, in my opinion, is the MSRP cap. At $42K, it is lower than neighboring states – NJ ($55K), MA ($50K), NY ($60K). More to the point, there just aren’t many BEVs that qualify. Below is the count of rebates by BEV model for 2020 to date.

BEV rebates in 2020 through September


There are only 7 models receiving rebates and just 4 that received more than single digits. If we exclude the Model 3 as our estimates are that ~75-80% of them are not eligible, and the eGolf, which is being discontinued, that leaves only 5 that are eligible, 3 with more than single digits. The eGolf is being replaced with the ID4, which will be ineligible. A loaded Bolt or Leaf Plus will exceed the threshold. The new Ford Mach-E begins at $43K. And, of course, the base trim level of the Tesla Model Y is over $42K. We feel CHEAPR needs to support the new generation of EVs, which include popular SUV or crossover form factors. Let consumer choice dictate where the rebates go and not put a thumb on the scale.


Aug CHEAPR and October Vote

Few CHEAPR Rebates Given in August

Another tepid, desultory, underwhelming (I’m running out of adjectives – feel free to help in the comments) month for the CHEAPR program with only 40 rebates given out and a total dollar amount of $28,000. This is the second-lowest month of the year and continues the dispiriting (another adjective!) trend we have seen since November 2019. One interesting item: there were 9 rebates for the new Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid. Between the RAV4 Prime and the Prius Prime, Toyota vehicles dominated the rebate activity. The reporting has been that the plug-in RAV4 Prime is a severely supply-constrained vehicle at present and there was some doubt that any would make it out of California, but apparently, they have.

Note: CHEAPR often restates the prior month when issuing new data. In this case, July has increased from 57 to 62 rebates and it is incorporated into the title graph.

Decision Time

The next CHEAPR meeting is scheduled for October 9 at 11:00 AM.

The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) presented a set of proposals for program revisions in July. The agenda includes a vote on the new program. The meeting is scheduled for only one hour, so we don’t expect much discussion. We do not know if this will be an up or down vote on the package or if the items will be considered individually. We know that despite 3 meetings and public comments, there isn’t a consensus on all the items.

This is what we know to the best of our information.

The package that will likely be presented to the board in October will have no differences relative to what was proposed in July.

  • No e-bike incentive or even a pilot test. Ix-nay on this from the DEEP attorneys.
  • A used-EV income-limited (lower/middle income, or LMI) incentive (non-controversial).
  • A supplemental LMI EV incentive (non-controversial).
  • No changes to base incentive levels or to the MSRP cap.
  • No changes to the much higher fuel-cell vehicle incentive, which stands at $5000 with an MSRP cap of $60,000.

UPDATES as of 10/25/20

Modeling scenarios include:

  • Maintaining the current (since 10/19) MSRP cap of $42K or raising it to $50K.
  • Base BEV incentives of $2500 or $1500.
  • A possible temporary “stimulus” additional sample of $1750 for BEVs and FCEVs, and $500 for PHEVs.
  • $500 increase to $2500 for the LMI incentive.
  • Possible inclusion of scenarios with base-level incentives less than $1500.

Incentive Levels and MSRP Cap

Much commentary, from board members, public attendees, and public comments, was in favor of raising the base incentives and the MSRP cap to at least where they were before DEEP lowered them in October 2019. These currently stand well below comparable incentive programs in nearby states. The CSE was tasked with modeling scenarios and they forecasted that there was a possibility that demand would exceed available funds, thus risking disruption. This blog doesn’t buy that line of argument for several reasons.

  • A pandemic and recession of unknown duration make for a difficult environment in which to model. There is a lot of guesswork here, exacerbated by the fact that there are no empirical data on the take-rates for the new LMI incentives. A disruption would likely only occur if the economy roars back and the participation rates are at the high end of estimates.
  • The dealership contingent spoke out for a higher MSRP cap. They argued that leases have grown in popularity to about half of all new car sales, and people can manage a lease payment on a vehicle they can’t afford to buy. Also, we are soon to see a wave of crossover and SUV EV launches, and these popular form factors are more expensive than sedans.
  • Based on our analysis, and comments from the dealers, there isn’t much of a used EV market at this time. The incentive will help, but it will take some time for auction bids to be influenced such that inventory can build. Also, used Teslas are probably too expensive for an LMI limited buyer (and we don’t know how the rules will work for them – they may not qualify – something we will seek to find out).
  • At the July meeting, when CSE proposed this incentive regime, they advised that the LMI system development would cause it not to be available until Q1 2021. We don’t know if they have been able to work on it during this period when the program isn’t finalized, but there could potentially be a delay.
  • There is more money available – DEEP has indicated that the unspent funds from 2020 (they have only given out $398,000 in consumer rebates), as well as unspent bridge financing from 2019, will be rolled over into 2021. This will yield approximately $4.9 million in available funds (compared to the $3 million budget).
  • The CHEAPR mission seems to be increasingly skewed towards the equity part of the mission. This blog supports the LMI incentives (and e-bikes, for that matter), but also sees the mission as just getting more EVs on the road. The program has fallen seriously short of that in the past year.

For these reasons, we think the best course is to raise the incentives and collect data. There will be plenty of time to course-correct if necessary. CHEAPR has an important role to play in moving people to drive electric. This is attested to by consumers, dealers, and our data. Let’s allow it to fulfill its potential.

Closing Pet Peeve

The $5000 fuel-cell rebate has never been given out in the 5+ years of the program’s existence, and there is no sign it will be anytime soon. You can’t buy one of these vehicles at present, and there is only 1 public hydrogen refueling station in the state. And yet, DEEP continues to use this as its headline incentive. It is misleading. It can be seen in the first sentence of the first paragraph on the CHEAPR home page. It was spoken out loud by Tracy Babbidge during the Sustainable Fairfield Webinar on September 28th. It was said by Victoria Hackett when she spoke at the Tesla leasing kickoff in February. Those are the occasions we are aware of but this is clearly not inadvertent. They are not helping themselves.

Editors Note: The October 9th meeting did not yield a resolution. A letter from the EV Coalition was debated that proposed a different structure. No vote was taken.

Meeting Details

We encourage members of the public to listen in! This is the Zoom info:

Webinar Information:

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 999 3803 2925

One tap mobile

+16468769923,,99938032925# US (New York)

Meeting ID: 999 3803 2925

Find your local number: https://ctdeep.zoom.us/u/adlDH6PJuC

EV Club CT 2019 Recap

2019 was a busy year!

Westport Police Department

Tesla Model 3 being outfitted as a police vehicleThe Westport Police Department is getting a Model 3 to be used as a patrol car. The club worked with Foti Koskinas, Chief of Police, providing information, allowing member vehicles to be used for test drives, and made introductions to Tesla in Mt. Kisco, NY (since there are still no Tesla stores permitted in CT). Westport PD is working with Whelen Engineering and Fleet Auto Supply to outfit the car with the features required for law enforcement. A more detailed description, updated as new information becomes available is here.


The club has remained engaged with legislators, has offered testimony in Hartford, and is on the steering committee of the CT EV Coalition. It is through the coalition that many of the more complex initiatives are addressed, such as the DEEP EV Roadmap and the Transportation Climate Initiative. Coalition partners include the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Sierra Club, Acadia Center, Plug-in America – 29 organizations altogether. This is the summary of comments prepared by the CT Fund for the Environment regarding the EV Roadmap.

Map of EVs by Utility by Zip Code CTEV Adoption Data

For our Interactive EV Dashboard, we are now in rhythm with our FOIA requests and the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain semi-annual data dumps to continue our detailed tracking of EV adoption in the state. Next update expected in the first quarter of 2020.



Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar I-Pace
Photo: Barry Kresch

We receive numerous requests for EV showcases and have been doing a better job of vetting the opportunities to secure good visibility. This year included showcases at the Westport Maker Faire, STEAMFest at Housatonic Community College, Wilton Zero Waste Faire, Fairfield Green Wheels NDEW, among others. Which leads us to a question. There are more and more of these in more places around the state. With most of the membership in Fairfield County, it is hard for us to get to all of them. For those of you on this list from around the state who are interested in participating in these events, we can connect people with events near them. Please reply to this mailbox if you have any interest! We will keep the names on file for when the time comes. Please make sure to let us know what town you live in and which EV you drive.

Climate Strike

Climate Strike Rallies – Club members participated in events in Hartford, New York, and Westport.

Sierra Club EV Shopper StudyEV Shopper Study

The Sierra Club reached out to the club for help with the shoppers they needed for CT for its second EV Shopper Study, called REV Up Electric Vehicles. The depressing, though not surprising, highlight, was that 74% of dealers did not have an EV on the lot. A blog post about the study with a link to the full Sierra Club release can be found here.


The club gives presentations about EVs, covering basic info, adoption, future outlook. The most recent was done at the Greenwich Environmental Lecture Series – Trends to Watch in the Energy Transformation of 2020.


We have transitioned the website to reflect our current branding at EVClubCT.com. We recently added an events calendar. It is the basic version, which requires the admin to enter the info. If you know of an EV event that would be worth posting, please send us the info via the website contact form. Send us the name of the event, location (including actual street address), date/time, event website (if there is one), event sponsor, graphic if you have one, brief description.

Last But Not Least

More people came to us this year than in the past looking for advice on buying an EV. Whether it was a dealer recommendation, questions about incentives or charging, or asking to be connected with the owners of a particular vehicle, we were able to help people navigate their way to driving electric.

Governor Lamont Proclamation on Drive Electric Week

This is the official proclamation from the office of the Governor declaring the week of September 14-22 to be Drive Electric Week and highlighting the benefits that moving to EVs will have on emission reduction and public health.

Drive Electric Week, Governor Lamont

The EV Coalition of CT has issued its own press release that highlights some specific actions occurring to support the effort to lower transportation emission levels and provide info on other local NDEW events.

Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition applauds Governor Lamont for proclaiming September 2019 as Electric Vehicle Month

Hartford, Conn. – The Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition is thrilled that Governor Ned Lamont, an electric vehicle (EV) owner himself, has recognized the significant environmental and economic benefits of EVs, as well as the necessity of widespread adoption, by proclaiming September 2019 as Electric Vehicle Month and September 14-22 as Drive Electric Week in Connecticut.

“While Washington, D.C., chips away at clean air and climate policies, Connecticut will do the necessary work to address climate change. That is why I have proclaimed September 2019 as Electric Vehicle Month in Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “We must rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to meet Global Warming Solutions Act mandates—and with transportation as the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, it’s the perfect place to start. Nearly 40% of our pollution comes from transportation, especially with so many of our roadways congested, leading to cars idling, and it contributes to health complications across the state and environmental injustices in our cities. By building public awareness of EV benefits, growing Connecticut’s network of charging stations, and generating our electricity with clean renewable sources, we can breathe easier knowing we are doing everything to combat our climate crisis.”

The Global Warming Solutions Act mandates Connecticut reduce carbon emissions 45 percent by 2030. To meet that goal, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) projects that 500,000 passenger cars will need to be electric by 2030, and the Governor’s Council on Climate Change calls for electrification of 30 percent of the statewide fleet of buses and commercial trucks by 2030. Attaining these targets will require rapid growth over the next decade—Connecticut will need about 40% average annual fleet growth to achieve the 500,000 electric vehicle goal.

During the spring 2019 legislative session, policymakers stepped up to the plate and funded $3 million per year for the state’s EV rebate program (CHEAPR), and also directed the state to purchase a minimum level of EVs for the state fleet. Governor Lamont’s first Executive Order, issued on April 24, 2019, includes the state fleet as one of seven areas targeted for emission reductions.

The Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) began work on grid-side system enhancements to integrate heavy-duty electric vehicle fleets earlier in the year, the state’s Codes and Standards Committee is evaluating adoption of an “EV-ready” construction standard for new residential and commercial buildings, and DEEP is developing an EV Roadmap to identify policies, programs, and strategies that the State of Connecticut should pursue to optimize deployment of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure. The Roadmap is expected out this month.

Additional utility revenue from EV charging can support operation and maintenance of the existing electric distribution infrastructure, thus reducing the need for future electricity rate increases. EV growth also provides economic benefits, shifting electric grid revenue back to our region that would otherwise go towards dirty fossil fuels purchased elsewhere. It creates local jobs for skilled workers in infrastructure installation and maintenance, stimulating local economies and generating tax revenue for the state. In addition to these consumer and economic benefits, electric vehicle expansion leads to energy independence, as Connecticut EV drivers are unaffected by fluctuating gas prices and spend less money on imported petroleum products. It is estimated that by 2050, if EV targets are met, Connecticut ratepayers will save $500 million on their electric bills and $1.9 billion in vehicle operating costs.


The Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition is a diverse group of clean energy advocates and businesses, community justice organizations, labor unions, and local businesses that work together to advance policies that will build out electric vehicle infrastructure and put more electric vehicles on the road in Connecticut. The combination of these two goals will achieve significant economic, health, and climate benefits for the State.

What the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition members are saying:

“With a huge proportion of dirty carbon emissions coming from the transportation sector, we must accelerate the expansion of electric vehicles in Connecticut in order to keep our climate commitments,” says Charles Rothenberger, Climate and Energy Attorney for Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound. “Electrifying our transportation sector will boost the green economy, save consumers money, keep Connecticut healthy, and reduce our dependence on filthy fossil fuels. Fortunately, Governor Lamont and the legislature jumped behind the wheel this past session showing true initiative to electrify transportation in Connecticut. The next step to speed up EV adoption is for the state to complete and implement the Electric Vehicle Roadmap.”

“The growth of EV adoption in Connecticut demonstrates that the electric mobility revolution is underway,” says Kevin Miller, Director of Public Policy for ChargePoint. “ChargePoint applauds the Lamont Administration and legislature for prioritizing support for transportation electrification, which will help meet statewide energy and environmental goals and ensure that the State has the world-class EV charging network it deserves. We look forward to working with PURA, DEEP, DAS, and other stakeholders to make it easier for Connecticut drivers and riders to go electric.”

Members of the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition 

  • Acadia Center*
  • ChargePoint
  • Connecticut Fund for the Environment*
  • Connecticut Nurses Association
  • Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs*
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group
  • ConnPIRG
  • Conservation Law Foundation
  • Chispa-CT*
  • Clean Water Action*
  • CT League of Conservation Voters
  • 350 CT
  • Drive Electric Cars New England
  • Eastern CT Green Action
  • Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut*
  • Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Environment Connecticut*
  • Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition, Inc.
  • Hamden Land Conservation Trust
  • Hartford Climate Stewardship Council
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers*
  • Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
  • New Haven Climate Movement
  • Northeast Clean Energy Council
  • People’s Action for Clean Energy
  • Proton OnSite
  • Plug In America*
  • RENEW Northeast
  • Sierra Club*
  • Solar Connecticut, Inc.
  • Tesla, Inc.
  • Union of Concerned Scientists

* Connecticut EV Coalition Steering Committee Membership



Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    10am-2pm

Location: Fairfield

Fairfield Train Overflow Lot (across from Sportsplex)

140 Mill Plain Road

Fairfield, CT 06824



Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    10:00 AM -2:00 PM

Location:  First Church of Christ

2183 Main Street

Glastonbury, CT 06073



Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    11:00 am to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Miller Public Library

2901 Dixwell Ave

Hamden, CT 06518



Day:      Sunday, September 22, 2019

Time:    1 PM – 4 PM

Location:   Madison Senior Center

29 Bradley Road

Madison, CT 06443



Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location:  Harbor Park

100 Harbor Park Road

Middletown, CT 06457


New Britain

Day:      Sunday, September 22, 2019

Time:    12:00 – 4:00

Location:   Central Conn. State University

1615 Stanley Street

New Britain, CT 06053


Old Saybook

Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    11:00 am to 3:00 p.m.

Location:  Saybrook Point Pavilion

155 College Street

Old Saybook, CT 06475



Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    10:00am- 2:00pm

Location:   Quarry Walk

300 Oxford Rd

Oxford, CT 06478



Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    10am -2pm

Location:   Southbury Town Hall Green

775 Main Street South

Southbury, CT 06488


South Windsor

Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    9am to 12pm

Location:  South Windsor Community Center (Farmers Market)

150 Nevers Road

South Windsor, CT 06074


West Hartford

Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    9 – 1pm

Location:  West Hartford Town Hall

Main St

West Hartford, CT 06106



Day:      Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Time:    5:00 – 8:00 PM

Location:   Bart’s Drive-In Restaurant

55 Palisado Avenue

Windsor, CT 06095

CT Fund For The Environment Meeting in New Haven

EV Club and CFE

The EV Club of CT and the CT Fund for the Environment (CFE) are hosting a meeting on July 15 at the offices of the CFE. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM. The CFE address is 900 Chapel Street, Upper Mezzanine.


Aside from being an opportunity to get to know one another, the agenda includes a recap of this year’s legislative session, planning for Green Wheels during Drive Electric Week, and a proposed event to be held at the Lime Rock racetrack.


Come join us on the 15th!

Sierra Club to Present at 5/28 EV Club Meeting

The EV Club of CT is pleased to announce that there will be a presentation from Hieu Le of the Sierra Club at the upcoming club meeting, scheduled for May 28th. The Sierra Club is one of the organizations that EV Club CT partners with in the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition.


Hieu Le is the campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for all Campaign. He leads the organization’s efforts on the Volkswagen settlement funds, electric vehicles, EV fees, National Drive Electric Week, and the Rev Up Electric Vehicles campaign. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, he worked on Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in Texas. He also worked in Sacramento for a government affairs firm. He is a former delegate to the California Democratic Party and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Meeting logistics

Date: May 28th

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Bedford Square Offices of The Higgins Group, 30 Elm Street, Westport, CT.