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Which Dealers Are EV Friendly – 2024 Update

Post by Barry Kresch

Can You Recommend a Dealership?

It is a common query we get. A consumer is shopping for an EV that isn’t a Tesla, Rivian, or Lucid. Maybe they had a poor dealer experience or their friend had a poor experience. Either way, they don’t want to waste their time walking into a dealership only for a salesperson to try and switch pitch them to ICE. That is by far the biggest complaint we hear. Followed by dealers who are clueless about EVs generally, don’t have a vehicle charged for a test drive, whose one EV expert “isn’t here right now,” or don’t know the incentives.

Using CHEAPR as a Proxy

While we have had personal interactions with some dealers, there are 270 licensed new car dealers in the state and we certainly don’t know all of them. Our workaround is to use CHEAPR rebates as a proxy. It isn’t perfect as some dealers do not sell CHEAPR-eligible vehicles. (The CHEAPR program has an MSRP* cap of $50,000.) And some manufacturers barely make any EVs. But for certain makes, it works well. We sort the data by make and compare like to like.

This information was compiled using data from the CHEAPR portal through December 21. There were 3677 CHEAPR rebates awarded in 2023 to this point. The program has been running pretty hot. Of these, 2022 were for Tesla and the remaining 1655 were spread amongst the other makes.

While we don’t quite have the entire year, we do have plenty of data to portray the good, bad and the ugly. As we have seen in past years, some dealers do a great job and some don’t even seem to know how to spell “EV.” There may be (and probably are) dealers for a given make that do not appear in these charts. That would happen if they had zero rebates.

Both battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are included in the data. The first chart is the number of rebates by make for non-Tesla brands, followed by dealership detail for all makes with a minimum of 10 rebates, listed alphabetically by make.

*The MSRP cap in CHEAPR is the base price of a given trim level, before options.

Non-Tesla Rebates by Make 2023

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Chevy Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Ford Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Hyundai Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Kia Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Mini Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Nissan Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Subaru Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Toyota Dealers

CHEAPR Rebates 2023 Volkswagen Dealers




Signs of Life for Income-Limited Rebates

Above chart is the monthly rebate trend through November 29, 2023. Recent months tend to get restated higher in subsequent updates.

LMI Program Focus

The CHEAPR program has always had a focus on making an EV more affordable for those who otherwise might find the purchase price too high a barrier. There is an MSRP cap to avoid subsidizing the most expensive vehicles. (Until the recent Tesla price-cutting, Teslas were mostly not eligible.) The program also offers consumers with limited income an extra subsidy, as well as a used EV incentive. The standard for doing so was loosened somewhat in 2023 and now applies to households with an income of no more than 3 times the federal poverty level. This translates to $43,740 for a single person or $90,000 for a family of 4. (These numbers get adjusted every year.)

This revised incentive, often referred to as “LMI” for lower-middle income, also offers a “pre-qualification” voucher. Qualified purchasers obtain the voucher ahead of time, and the amount of the voucher can then be deducted from the price of the vehicle at the time of the sale. Even though it’s more complicated to administer, it represents an improvement for the consumer. Buyers now know ahead of time that they are approved for the rebate and no longer have to front the cash as they did with the earlier program design.

This revised program soft-launched in March of this year. Due to the one-year shelf-life of the voucher, it was expected that there would be a lagging effect. DEEP has reported high interest in the voucher, though specific data are not reported. We can only see the reporting based on redemption. There has definitely been an increase in recent months. We hope they will be higher as more vouchers are in circulation. The chart below tracks the monthly redemptions for 2023 through November. It is likely that November will be restated higher with the next release.

LMI CHEAPR Rebates by Month

 

Overall Rebate Volume Slackens But Is Likely to Recover

This is shown in the chart at the top of the post. We believe that this had to do with the base trim level Model Y having been temporarily withdrawn from sale by Tesla as it redesigned the vehicle, and perhaps augmented by the Chevy Bolt’s increasing scarcity as the model sunsets for the time being. The standard range Model Y is back now with an LFP battery, rear-wheel drive configuration for $43,990 (at least today), well under the CHEAPR MSRP cap. The Model Y AWD long range is also under the cap at $48,990. We expect rebate volume to pick up again. CHEAPR has dispensed about $6.8 million year-to-date and is on pace to reach $8 million. This is quadruple what it was in 2022 and is due to greater model availability and the increase in the MSRP cap to $50,000.

Models

The most rebated vehicle this year is the Tesla Model 3 with 927 rebates, followed by the Model Y with 681. These are followed by the Toyota RAV4 Prime (380), Chevy Bolt (274), Volkswagen ID.4 (204), and Hyundai Ioniq 5 (116). All other models were <100.

Fleet Rebates Coming

The final program component included in the 2022 legislation is the rebate program for fleets. It is expected to launch sometime this spring. These apply to commercial, municipal, tribal, and non-profit entities – in other words just about all fleets. Fleets are eligible for up to 10 rebates in a calendar year and 20 total.

There is potentially significant demand for these rebates. Given that potential, and the program having a pretty high burn rate generally, not every applicant will necessarily be granted a rebate. Below is a slide from DEEP indicating how they are prioritizing rebate requests. Please note, the final contours of the program are still being developed.

CHEAPR Fleet Rebate Prioritization

The reason for these gating criteria is to avoid a lapse in available funds that would cause the program to be paused, like what happened in New Jersey. The rebate size and MSRP cap are the same as with the consumer rebates.

Rebates will be pre-certified (and the funds reserved) with post-purchase repayment.




EV Club 2023 – Year in Review

 

2023 was a notable year for the club as it produced a fully subscribed symposium and began a partnership with People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE).

Northeast Electrical Vehicle Symposium

The EV Club produced its first conference, along with an EV showcase, in conjunction with the CT Tesla Owners Club. It was fully subscribed and is planned to be an annual event. It was hosted at the zero-emissions, LEED Platinum Hotel Marcel in New Haven, and covered topics ranging from the Advanced Clean Cars regulations to electrifying one’s home, EV incentives, utility programs, local EV-friendly zoning and a keynote from You-Tuber Out of Spec Dave. Recap here.

PACE

We have been working increasingly closely with the PACE (People’s Action for Clean Energy) organization. Our collaboration began with data, as we contributed the vehicle data we obtain to the data they use to analyze municipal energy use. This is a service that PACE offers this free to any municipality – they’ll quantify energy use and show where there are opportunities to move to decarbonize.

We are aligned on policy as both organizations support direct sales, regulations for clean vehicles, the Energy Data Bill of Rights, and expanded distributed and shared solar.

We support each other’s events. This allows each of us to improve coverage throughout the state.

PACE offers a number of services for communities, including supporting HeatSmart campaigns for heat pump adoption, help with solar canopy siting, and data on building efficiency.

Finally, PACE has also been giving the club some financial support. We may be a volunteer organization, but we do have expenses! They also accept donations on our behalf. Go here. After clicking on an amount, you will go to a page that allows you to designate how you would like the donation to be used. Choose “create your own,” and type in “EV Club.”

First Responders

The EV Club continues to support our first responders when they hold EV training events. This year we worked with Fairfield, Windsor Locks, Northville, and Middlebury.

Incentives

Incentives are now more numerous, more complex, and a moving target. We decode them and keep up to date with changes for the federal and state EV purchase incentives, as well as the charging incentives offered by the utilities. This is our incentives page. We have worked with a number of individual members to sort through these and help with questions. We also had the opportunity to speak at length with Eversource regarding how to operationally improve the consumer experience with respect to incentives and dealing with voltage sags and transformer sizes that could limit solar production.

Our near term outlook is that the Foreign Entity of Concern rules, the first half of which take effect in January 2024, will cause a reduction in the number of incentive-eligible EVs.

The other important near term item is the transfer option. This enables the consumer to obtain the incentive as a point of purchase rebate rather than a tax credit. The consumer has an option to do one or the other. Aside from getting the incentive sooner, it also enables people who do not have the tax liability to burn off a tax credit to be able to utilize the incentive.

EV Showcases

We continue to support as many EV showcases as we can by helping to publicize the events, and recruiting owners to exhibit their vehicles. We encourage all EV owners to participate in these as it is a great way to discuss the virtues of driving electric and leave out the politics. We also supported and participated in events by Electric Car Guest Drive in New York.

The Club itself staged 2 showcases, one in May and a second in September as part of the Symposium. We were happy to include a Tesla Model Y patrol car owned by the Westport Police. We thank the CT Tesla Owners Club for working with us on these and for arranging for Tesla to give test drives.

If you would like us to post your showcase event, please see this post about the information we need.

Speaking Engagements and Tabling

  • Stonington Energy Fair
  • Fairfield Warde High School
  • Interreligious Eco-Justice Network Forum on Advanced Clean Cars II, Greenwich
  • Central Connecticut State University

Zoom Meeting Presentations

  • SPAN – smart panels – what they’re about and what is involved in installing one in your home
  • Renowned teardown artist and automotive engineer, Sandy Munro, tells it like it is
  • IRA deep-dive into the EV incentives

Policy/News

  • Rivian, after fending off a dealership lawsuit, has broken ground on a service center in Shelton.
  • First Tesla Magic Dock in CT.
  • Participation continues with the national Electric Vehicle Association Policy Committee.
  • The last couple of years have been difficult regarding state level environmental legislation. Advanced Clean Cars II is stalled. It is possible it may come back but not certain. We continue to support a direct sales bill and the Energy Data Bill of Rights.
  • EV Club CT had a presence at the Cybertruck Reveal Event.
  • EV Club is happy to work with municipalities on EV charging, such as the new installation of 12 level 2 chargers (80 amp) in Westport.

EV Club Invited to Grand Opening of Tesla Sales and Delivery Center

This is the facility that is being built on tribal land at the Mohegan Sun Casino complex. The event is 12/20 and registration is here.

Much of the reporting in the mainstream press about this facility labels it as a loophole or a way to skirt the law. We believe this to be a mischaracterization. Tesla is following the law. Federally recognized tribes hold sovereign power on tribal land. It is up to the Tribal Council to approve such a facility and they don’t run scared from dealerships.

Data

We were able to bring the EV Dashboard back, tracking the level and characteristics of EV adoption in Connecticut. Access to data was granted courtesy of Atlas Public Policy, but sourced from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Continued tracking of EV rebates by dealership, which is our proxy for which dealers are EV-friendly (applicable, obviously, only to those that sell CHEAPR-eligible vehicles). This typically gets updated around March of each year – it depends on when the data get published by DEEP.

Videos!

Find them on our YouTube channel

  • New electric police patrol cars in Westport and Wethersfield (Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E, respectively)
  • Owner video – Andre and his Polestar 2
  • Fairfield First Responder EV training
  • Sandy Munro and Corey Steuben riffing about all things EV and batteries (Meeting recording)
  • Inflation Reduction Act Deep Dive (Meeting recording)
  • Tesla Magic Dock Closeup
  • Smart Panel discussion with SPAN (Meeting recording)
  • Hotel Marcel Tech Deep Dive – Bruce Becker, Paul Braren, Will Cross

 




Northeast Electric Vehicle Symposium Recap

Photo at top taken under one of the solar canopies at the Hotel Marcel with the building in the background, from left to right: Daphne Dixon – Live Green CT, Paul Wessel – Greater New Haven Clean Cities, and Analiese Mione, Barry Kresch, Bruce Becker, and Paul Braren from the EV Club who organized the symposium.

“Sold-out” Conference

Well, it was free, but there was more interest than we were able to accommodate and we had to close registration. Early feedback has been extremely positive. such as this message:

“I attended the NEEVS yesterday and had a fantastic time. What a great lineup of speakers/presentations and lots of fun at the car show as well! I’m looking forward to future symposiums in the coming years. …. Again, I had a great time at the symposium (and the lunch was incredible).”

We would like to thank our sponsors: Live Green CT, Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition, EVConnect, Maxwell Vehicles, and ChargePoint, without whom we would have been munching on stale pretzels.

Of course, we also thank our attendees for joining us and being an engaged and interactive audience.

The Hotel Marcel provided excellent, eco-friendly hospitality. For anyone who may be nervous about switching from a gas to an induction cooktop, the quality of the food attested to how good induction cooking can be. Even the chafing dishes were induction.

We’ve had some comments about how a small committee was able to put together a jam-packed agenda in a short period of time. If anything, the challenge is less about finding content than winnowing it down to fit within our time parameters. As it was, our 3-hour speaker agenda took 4 hours with too little time for Q&A.

We want to give a shout-out to Rich Jordan, president of the CT Tesla Owners Club, for his help with the car show, to the Westport Police Department and their Model Y patrol car, and to Tesla for bringing vehicles for test drives.

Converted EV Van

Maxwell Electric Shuttle at Hotel MarcelHotel Marcel architect and developer, Bruce Becker, talked about how Maxwell Vehicles converted an ICE van to electric, using a salvaged Model 3 battery and drive train. This van gets a lot of use shuttling guests to downtown New Haven, Yale, Union Station, Tweed Airport, and other destinations.

 

 

 

 

Out of Spec Dave

YouTube and X (Twitter) personality, Out of Spec Dave from Norwalk, CT, talked about his adventures as a road warrior, having driven lots of different EVs and experienced the many faces of public charging. Not all of them are happy faces. Part of the charging experience is knowing before you get to a charger, when deciding where to charge, whether a charger is in service and how fast it is charging. There is a gap in the eco-system here. He has launched the “Rate Your Charge” newsletter. Take a video or photo of your charge, describe your experience, and tag @outofspecdave on Twitter. The data are compiled and this weekly report is issued. Take a video or photo, provide details and tag them (@outofspecdave) on Twitter. These are being compiled in a weekly report posted to Twitter. For those not on Twitter, use this Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9nE1JOulqidJNacpL230TdswfnnaWBTjdGIaky3ffkHF6EA/viewform?pli=1

Rate Your Charge - Out of Spec Dave

PACE

Mark Scully from People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) spoke about their program to help municipalities decarbonize and save money in the process. This slide illustrates the cost savings projected in a transition to renewables.

Cost Savings with Renewable Energy

United Illuminating

We get many questions regarding whether widespread EV adoption will crash the grid. While the grid does need to be modernized (and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has a grid modernization docket), Rick Rosa from Avangrid/UI discussed using EVs to optimize the grid. This slide is an example of optimization vs curtailment. EVs will be beneficial to the grid for the foreseeable future and, as such, there are incentives for EV owners to participate. See our incentives page for a more detailed description of the program with links to sign up for the residential or commercial incentives. This program is also offered by Eversource and it can offset the costs of buying and installing a 240 volt charger, as well as pay an ongoing incentive to participate in their managed charging programs.

Charging Curtailment with Optimization

Zoning for EV Readiness

Daphne Dixon of Live Green CT, who has done a lot of work with municipalities, gave a presentation that illustrated the complexity of zoning for EVs but also highlighted the significant benefits as noted in the example below.

EV Zoning Opportunities

All Electric, Zero Emission Home

Paul's Home with Tesla Roof

Paul Braren provided a detailed description of his journey to create an all-electric home (solar roof seen in the photo, powerwall/VPP, 2 EVs, insulation for home and windows, heat pumps, smart panel, electric garden tools) and capture the available incentives. It has been a complicated road. This links to his full presentation.

IRA Transfer Provision

In his update on incentives, EV Club President, Barry Kresch, discussed the implementation of the transfer provision in 2024, and how it changes a tax credit into a point of sale rebate.

IRA Transfer Provision

Advanced Clean Cars II

CT is a participant in the California Air Resources Board emissions requirements. It is now in the process of implementing the second phase of these regulations, commencing in 2027 through 2035. The rules require manufacturers to sell increasing amounts of zero emission light-duty vehicles, reaching 100% in 2035.  There is a separate set of regulations that would significantly lower emissions for medium and heavy-duty vehicles during this same period. Charles Rothenberger, Climate Attorney for Save the Sound, explained these regulations. The legislature has authorized CT DEEP to proceed with the required multi-step process. The slide below shows where we are and the remaining steps.

steps to implement advanced clean cars 2

There is some concern that when the rules go back to the legislature, in which a bi-partisan review committee is supposed to examine them for legal sufficiency, that there may be an effort by opponents to short-circuit the approvals process. More on that to come.

We hope you see you next time!!!

 




Rebates Set Another Monthly Record

Tesla Model Y Leads Rebated Vehicles

CHEAPR set another record in June in terms of rebates awarded with 421 rebates, way exceeding the previous high water mark that occurred just one month prior of 286.

The best-selling EV in the country, the Tesla Model Y, leads the field by far with 228, or 54% of all rebates. Other models with double digit rebates

  • Tesla Model 3 – 51
  • Chevy Bolt – 40
  • Toyota RAV4 Prime – 33
  • Volkswagen ID.4 – 15

CHEAPR Rebates by Model June 2023

E-Bike Rebates Sizzle

Things you can do in 13 minutes –

  • Walk a mile
  • Complete a simple crossword
  • Reheat last night’s leftovers

Or

  • Blow through the entire e-bike voucher budget!

One of the new components of CHEAPR authorized last year in Public Act 22-25, e-bike rebate vouchers, went live in July. It was available for all of 13 minutes before the entire budget was depleted with 6300+ applications received like a bolt of lightning. DEEP had originally budgeted $500,000 for this first year, but increased it to $750,000 when the strong demand became immediately clear. Still, that only extended the shelf-life by a scant few minutes.

Still Awaiting Traction for LMI rebates

There were only 4 of the supplemental Rebate+ incentives awarded to individuals who are income-qualified or live in distressed communities. There is hope for much higher numbers. We still counsel patience. DEEP has reported a good response with respect to the pre-qualification vouchers and the vouchers are good for a year. The public dataset does not contain information on the number of approved vouchers. The 4 incentives were all for new vehicles.

Fleet Rebate Postponement

The one new program component that still awaits launch is the fleet incentives. The eligibility is wide – commercial, non-profit, municipal, tribal entities. The limit is 10 incentives in a single year and 20 total. The standard CHEAPR incentive applies (i.e. not the supplemental), as does the $50K MSRP cap. Reminder, MSRP is defined as the base price of the trim level ordered without accessories. The light-duty program launch had been expected imminently, but DEEP is taking a step back. In the wake of the overwhelming e-bike response, they are looking to be prepared in the event of robust demand.

There is also a medium and heavy-duty vehicle component to this program. This will launch sometime next year.

Burn Rate Running Hot

At the September Board Meeting, DEEP expressed some concern about funds depletion as the program gave out $874,250 (not including e-bikes) in the month of June. They probably don’t need to worry, at least for a while, as Tesla has withdrawn the Model Y standard range. The Tesla website now only lists the long range and performance trim levels, neither of which qualify for a CHEAPR incentive.




Northeast Electric Vehicle Symposium (NEEVS)

The Symposium is Sold Out – People Can Still Come for the Car Show

Get charged up at NEEVS, the ultimate gathering for EV enthusiasts, policy wonks, and all who seek cutting edge guidance on decarbonization.

Please join us at the first annual Northeast Electric Vehicle Symposium (NEEVS) at Hotel Marcel in New Haven on September 9, 2023. EV enthusiasts, electrification and decarbonization advocates, sustainability volunteers and professionals, municipal employees, real estate owners and developers and policy wonks are invited to join us.

Bruce Becker is the lead architect and owner/developer of Hotel Marcel in New Haven, the country’s first zero emissions and Passive House hotel, and Chairman of the EV Club of CT. Bruce will welcome guests as they enjoy a light buffet lunch, and briefly share his approach to hotel e-mobility at Hotel Marcel. Guests have access to Tesla Superchargers, Level 2 chargers under a solar canopy and a custom electric shuttle van.

Hotel Marcel New Haven with solar canopies in foreground

You will learn firsthand from expert guest speakers about:

  1. Hotel Marcel’s guest experience in e-mobility,
  2. The state of public EV charging and opportunities for improving it,
  3. The latest updates in state and federal EV/EVSE incentives and V2G,
  4. Best practices for transitioning vehicles and homes to all-electric,
  5. How to move municipalities to 100% clean, renewable energy,
  6. The societal and environmental benefits that proposed regulations for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles under Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) provide for Connecticut.
  7. Zoning for EV readiness

Date: September 9, 2023

Hours: 12:00-4:30

Buffet Lunch: 12:00
Presentations: 12:00-3:00
Networking and Car Show 3:00-4:30

Host: Hotel Marcel, 500 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT 06511

Organizer: EV Club of CT

Partner: Tesla Owners Club of CT

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors: Hotel Marcel, Live Green CT, EV Connect, Chargepoint, Maxwell Vehicles, and the Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition.

Live Green Connecticut

 

EV Connect is a sponsor of NEEVS.

Chargepoint

Greater New Haven Clean Cities Logo

Maxwell vehicles logo

Hotel Marcel New Haven at dusk

Speaker Schedule:

12:00-12:15: Welcome address from Bruce Becker, lead architect and owner/developer of Hotel Marcel New Haven and Chairman of the EV Club of CT. Guests will be treated to an overview of the e-mobility customer experience at Hotel Marcel, the country’s first zero emissions and Passive House hotel.

12:15-12:45: Out of Spec Dave will share his experiences charging his EVs at various public charging stations, sometimes across long distances, to map the current state of publicly-available EVSE and how the customer experience can be improved to accelerate EV adoption.

12:45-1:15 Mark Scully, President, People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) will present their model for decarbonizing at the municipal level. PACE is an all-volunteer public health and environmental organization formed in 1973 by a group of concerned Connecticut citizens to promote the development of clean energy, encourage energy efficiency and conservation and challenge Connecticut’s commitment to nuclear power. Over many years, PACE has engaged in education, outreach and advocacy on clean energy issues. PACE is committed to developing a pathway to a 100% renewable future, free of fossil and nuclear fuels. PACE is the largest all-volunteer organization in CT working on these issues, and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

1:15-2:05: Vehicle and home electrification panel discussion + Q&A with moderator Barry Kresch, President, EV Club of CT, and panelists Paul Braren, owner of TinkerTry and an all-electric home, and Rick Rosa, Senior Manager for EV Programs and Products from Avangrid/United Illuminating. Decarbonizing vehicles and the built environment requires working with a suite of incentives, electric utility programs, and equipment vendors. Learn about the latest EV/EVSE incentives and how the EDCs (utilities) are thinking about Vehicle to Grid (V2G) connectivity. Paul will share best practices and lessons learned from going all-in on his home remodeling by enrolling his Tesla Solar Roof and Powerwalls in Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) with ConnectedSolutions program, powering two EVs utilizing Managed Charging and Charge on Solar, maximizing efficiency and savings by installing a SPAN smart electrical panel and installing heat pumps for year-round comfort with no natural gas.

2:05-2:30: Charles Rothenberger, Climate & Energy Attorney, Save the Sound will present highlights of the Regulations for Light, Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles under Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II). In July 2023, Connecticut became the latest state to initiate adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule, which will benefit society by requiring manufacturers to increase sales of electric and other zero-emission models within the state over time, culminating with 100% of new sales being ZEV in 2035.

2:30 – 3:00: Daphne Dixon, Co-founder and Executive Director, Live Green Connecticut and Director, Connecticut SWA Clean Cities Coalition, will present about Zoning for EV Readiness, a must attend for municipal decision makers.

Hotel Marcel bar and dining room
Hotel Marcel bar and dining room

Networking and Car Show 3:00-4:30: Enjoy beverages and food at the hotel bar while networking with other guests, and head outdoors to the lot adjacent to Hotel Marcel’s Superchargers to enjoy the car show while networking with EV owners that are members of Tesla Owners Club of CT, the EV Club of CT and the Westport Police Department.

Hotel Martel New Haven Superchargers with Teslas
Hotel Marcel New Haven Superchargers with Teslas

RSVP required: Register here.
Interested in a sponsorship? Please email evclubct@gmail.com.

Parking at the hotel is available to all. Club members that are participating in the car show, please register your vehicles for that portion of the event.

Guests may register for:

1) both event tickets: the symposium and car show (only if you’re showing a car),

2) only the symposium (attending the car show is open to all registered symposium guests)

3) only the car show (if you’re showing a car and will not be attending the symposium).




Connecticut Formally Proposes To Adopt Advanced Clean Cars 2 Rules

Governor Lamont And DEEP Host Press Conference To Announce CT Formally Adopting New Regs

This was not your typical press conference. It wasn’t a ribbon cutting for a new bridge, or better yet, for a new bank of DCFC charging stations funded by the NEVI (infrastructure) bill. It was about a wonky, weedy policy known as the California Air Resources Board Advanced Clean Car 2 regulations (ACC II). The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) was responsible for shepherding the process of CT adopting these (as directed by the legislature). As complicated as the regulations may be, they can be simply summarized: more stringent fuel-efficiency standards culminating with 100% of light duty vehicles sold being zero emission or low-emission by 2035. The new regulations also now cover medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHD), and according to Commissioner Dykes of DEEP, diesel emissions will be reduced by 90%.

The other good thing about this is the agglomeration of states. This was noted in the press event but, perhaps, not with enough emphasis. Just as with the first set of CARB regulations, when you have California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and a number of other states, that ends up being 40% or more of the new vehicle market and it becomes a de facto national standard. Commissioner Dykes pointed out that air blowing into CT from the west is already “out of compliance.” States like Ohio or Indiana that will not be part of this alliance, nonetheless will be getting cleaner vehicles.

Left to itself, industry, at least this industry, will not move fast enough to mitigate transportation sector emissions, the effects of which are already being felt. It is imperative to have policy that both pushes the industry to move faster as well as giving it the certainty it needs to plan. The first set of CARB regulations led to air quality improvements but it didn’t address medium and heavy duty vehicles and it is now out of date. Adoption of ACC2 is an unambiguous win.

According to the League of Conservation Voters, adopting the California standards will reduce smog and air pollution by over 750 tons per year in 2035 and over 900 tons per year by 2050, and yield as much as $1.4 billion in avoided healthcare costs between now and 2050.

There is a public comment period that is open until August 23rd, 5 PM. Comments may be sent to deep.mobilesources@ct.gov.

CT EV Registrations pass 36,000

Commissioner Dykes said the number represents a 20% increase since January and 42% year on year. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we need more. The state hopes to have 500,000 by 2030. EV sales are climbing nationally and more models are being introduced all the time, but growth needs to turn sharply upward.

We do not yet have the underlying detail of these registrations.

NEVI (National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure) Update

Connecticut will have north of $50 million to spend on EV infrastructure courtesy of the Federal Infrastructure Bill. We’ve been anxiously awaiting news about when we will see actual results. The first phase of NEVI is to be devoted to building out fast chargers along major highway corridors. According to the newly appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Karen Kitsis, the rule-making is expected to be complete by the end of this year with shovels in the ground in 2024.

E-Bike Rebates Explode

The CT state EV rebate program, CHEAPR, recently added an e-bike incentive. It blew through its entire budget allotment, supporting over 6,000 rebates, within 13 minutes of its going live.




Latest Reporting Through May 2023 on CHEAPR Program

Rebates Way Up, Mostly Due to Tesla

DEEP has published stats through June 14th, but for the purposes of this post, we are looking at complete months, thus through May 31st.

As can be seen in the chart at the top of the post, rebates have really spiked. In fact, the 286 rebates in May is the most the program has ever had in a calendar month. This is mostly driven by Tesla.

Below is the trend of rebates by model. That green hockey stick is the Model Y. Price cutting by manufacturers has brought some popular models below the $50K CHEAPR MSRP cap. The Model Y is the best-selling electric vehicle and the best-selling non-pickup vehicle in the USA, and as soon as the base trim level became eligible, it zoomed right to the top in terms of rebate count. The brown line that is currently second is the Model 3. The base trim level Model 3, as well as the reintroduced long-range non-performance version are CHEAPR eligible.

CHEAPR rebates by model Mar - May 2023

Aside from the Tesla vehicles being the most popular EVs, Tesla has been the best organized in terms of helping eligible consumers claim the rebate. With dealerships, it is bit of roulette as not all of them are up to date on the program or have knowledgeable salespeople. We have also heard that some of the finance companies that dealerships use for leased vehicles don’t accommodate the incentive.

Ford recently announced a price cut for the F-150 Lightning and the base trim level will now qualify for CHEAPR.

Outside of the Tesla models, only the Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV was rebated in double digits. The RAV4 had been a leader in the number of rebates but has been tracking at a lower level more recently. The Chevy Bolt, particularly the newer EUV variant, had been building as the company began to see daylight in its recall efforts, but that momentum is stalling with the cancellation announcement. The Bolt had come to dominate the value segment. It was small but not that small, with a roughly 238 mile range for about $30K. GM doesn’t comment on future plans before they become firm, but they have dropped hints that they value the Bolt nameplate and, who knows, we may see a variant of it on the new Ultium platform.

This is what May looks like.

CHEAPR Rebates by Model May 2023

 

New Rebate Plus – Rebates for Income-Limited Individuals

The latest piece of the CHEAPR program to go live was the loosened income standard and pre-qualification voucher for the supplemental income-limited rebates. The pre-qualification voucher enables the buyer to get a “cash on the hood” incentive, rather than be forced to float the cash until a reimbursement arrives. Also, the highly restrictive previous eligibility criteria was expanded to include anyone with an income level up to 3 times the Federal Poverty Level. More detail on this program can be found on this blog post here.

DEEP reported an encouraging early response in terms of voucher requests. To this point, very few rebates are appearing in the data. This shows rebates by month for Rebate +. The program soft-launched, meaning absent a marketing push, on March 29. It feels to us that given the multi-step process, it is too soon to know how well this new program is working.

Rebate + Incentives

There are several things that have to happen before a voucher request turns into an incentive.

  • How long does it take to get the voucher approved?
  • How long will the consumer take to place an order?
  • How long will it take for the vehicle to be delivered?
  • Is there any dealer friction over the new voucher process that holds up orders?
  • How many people get a voucher that they then do not use?

Hopefully, we’ll be in a position to get a better read on this by the fall.




CHEAPR – New Program Components Beginning to Be Implemented

The following is a summary of what was reported in the recent CHEAPR board meeting.

Pre-Qualification Voucher Program for Income Limited Persons

This new program soft-launched on March 29th.

There have been supplemental rebates for income-limited buyers (often short-handed as LMI) for new EV purchases, as well as rebates for used EV purchases for several years. These have gotten almost no traction. From the beginning, concerns were expressed that the criteria (participation in certain government assistance programs) were too restrictive and the post-purchase application process, whereby the purchaser had to float the cash for the incentive (as well as live in some suspense that it would come through), were just not realistic.

Those complaints, along with the empirical data, led the legislature to direct changes to the program that became law in Public Act 22-25, passed in 2022. In addition to the government assistance program participation, an income option was added, specifically that households with income of up to 3 times the federal poverty rate would be eligible regardless of program participation. Some examples of 3x poverty: $43,470 for a single person household and $90,000 for a 4-person household.

DEEP reports this has led to an encouraging early response. This is based on vouchers awarded. It doesn’t definitively mean that everyone who received a voucher has used it. That was a subject of discussion when the LMI program was first implemented. Apparently, some other states that had used vouchers had seen low conversion rates, and there was concern about how wasteful the extra admin overhead would be. As of this writing, DEEP has only updated published rebate data through April 13th, and there are no recorded LMI rebates between the end of March and April 13th, so it is too soon to have any visibility.

The next step is for there to be a marketing push. A vendor has been selected and we’ll see how fast the information gets out.

Used EV Rebate

As noted above, the LMI program includes rebates for used EVs. The CHEAPR website indicates which EVs are eligible, just as it does for new EVs. Only vehicles that previously met the criteria for eligibility when new will be eligible as a used vehicle. We thought there might be a willingness to loosen this and it is disappointing this is not the case. We think it needlessly limits the options for the consumer. There is already a gating requirement in terms of income limits. This feels needlessly restrictive.

There are some details that we await. The MSRP cap was lowered, then raised over the course of the program. Is the eligibility based on the current cap or the cap in effect at the time? What if a model has had price changes?

Fleet Incentive Program

A major addition to the program was extending the CHEAPR incentives to fleets. This applies to private fleets, municipalities, non-profits, and tribal entities. Non-profits must provide a Certificate of Legal Existence to prove good standing. According to DEEP, the launch will occur sometime in the third quarter.

The cap is 10 rebates per year and 20 lifetime. The DEEP commissioner has some flexibility to raise the cap for an organization if it is determined to be warranted.

The fleet program applies to new vehicles and the standard rebate only. The MSRP cap of $50K applies here as it does with the consumer.

E-Bike Rebate

The first phase of the e-bike program is scheduled to launch on June 28th with a point of sale voucher for brick and mortar stores. Online sales will come along later. CT residents age 18 or older can apply for a voucher that can be redeemed for an eligible e-bike at a participating retailer. Check with your preferred e-bike retailer to see if they are enrolled in the program.

The base rebate is $500. That can be augmented by an additional $1000 for LMI individuals.

There is an MSRP cap of $3000.

Eligible bikes must have either a UL 2849 or EN 15194 certification. (A pending certification does not count.) This is an important requirement to ensure safe e-bikes are purchased. Generally speaking, and unlike with automobiles, there is a paucity of regulation at this time. There is a lack of awareness that there are unsafe e-bikes out there, and with lithium-ion batteries, you are literally playing with fire.

Update: According to Bloomberg, the program was fully subscribed within 3 days of launch.




Tesla Model Y Now Eligible for CHEAPR Rebates

Increase in Rebates Driven by Tesla

Since the MSRP cap was increased in July 2022, there has been an increase in rebates as more models have become available. Somewhat predictably, it is driven mostly by Tesla.

The 158 rebates in March was up from 115 one year ago (+37%) with 55 of the rebates being for Tesla.

CHEAPR Rebates by Model March 2023

Tesla Drives Higher Utilization; Model Y Now Eligible

The CHEAPR program has been consistently underspent for several years, even before the budget was increased. Aside from most of the new program, as authorized in Public Act 22-25 from one year ago, not yet being yet live, there has been a low utilization rate. Rebates have only been received for roughly one third of eligible vehicles. Tesla is more efficient than any of the other companies in terms of incorporating incentives into their sales flow, and the consultant for CHEAPR, the Center for Sustainable Energy, has said that in states they administer, when Teslas are eligible, the utilization is higher. Add to that, Tesla has been cutting prices over the past year and now the Model Y, both the standard range and long range non-performance, are eligible. If Tesla were to bring back the Model 3 long range non-performance, it too, would likely be eligible.

The first of the new program components to go online will be the revised program for income-limited individuals (LMI). The current LMI program has seen very little activity, none in March.