State of CT EV Purchase Incentives

State of Connecticut EV Purchase or Lease Incentives

Most of this is about the state CHEAPR program, but below that is a purchase incentive from Norwich Public Utilities.

CHEAPR Program Description

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection created a program referred to as the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program (CHEAPR).  The primary incentives are given as rebates. A rebate is more consumer-friendly in that it is immediate and will benefit those who do not have enough taxable income to qualify for the full federal credit. The income-limited incentives require filling out an application after purchase but that will be changing to a voucher system.

Update: Public Act 22-25 includes provisions that significantly expand CHEAPR. We have a rough idea of timing based on information provided in the most recent CHEAPR board meeting.

  • Revised income-limited (LMI) rebate rules, extending eligibility for those with income levels up to 3 times the federal poverty rate – about $83,000 for a family of 4 or $41,000 for an individual. These levels get revised regularly, so t is worth double-checking before applying. Also, it applies to anyone residing in an environmental justice or distressed community.
  • The LMI rebates will have pre-qualification or voucher which would enable a buyer to receive the rebate at the time of purchase. This is a big improvement over the current program. It is also the most complicated piece to build. DEEP is targeting a March 2023 launch.
  • Expands eligibility from residential only to include businesses, municipalities, non-profits, and tribal entities. Expected timing – tbd 2024.
  • Program budget raised considerably. It now gets the entirety of the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) part of the registration fee and a portion of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction funds.
  • Program sunset after 2025 is canceled.
  • $500 incentive for the purchase of an e-bike costing no more than $3000. This is targeted to LMI individuals. Expected timing – sometime in the first half of 2023.
  • CHEAPR board moves from a governance to an advisory role.
  • Incentive amounts are not addressed in the legislation and are up to DEEP.

Current Incentive Levels

  • Battery Electric Vehicle – $2250
  • Plug-in Hybrid – $750
  • Income-limited incentive for new BEV – $4250 (total, not additive)
  • Income-limited incentive for new PHEV – $2250 (total, not additive)
  • Income-limited used BEV incentive – $3000
  • Income-limited used PHEV incentive – $1125
  • MSRP Cap for new EVs – $50,000. The definition of MSRP is the trim level price. If you order options that raise the price above $50,000, that is ok. This is a little more forgiving than the definition for the federal incentive. Discounts or surcharges by the seller do not affect eligibility.
  • Vehicle must be purchased from a CT dealer or direct seller (e.g. Tesla, Rivian).

The frequency with which one can use this program has been changed to twice per driver per lifetime (up from once) and the count resets as of June 2021. In other words, if you had already received a CHEAPR incentive prior to that date, you can get two more.

New Rules for Income Limited Incentives –

  • Eligibility is now expanded to families with up to 300% of the federal poverty level income.
  • Those residing in an environmental justice or distressed community.
  • The government program participation has also been retained as an option.
  • An important change is that now applicants can get a pre-qualification voucher. In other words, an application is filled out before the purchase is made and if the applicant qualifies, they get a voucher. The voucher can be given to the seller so that it is no longer necessary to pay the money and wait for reimbursement. The voucher is good for 1 year.

(There is a fuel-cell vehicle incentive listed on the CHEAPR website. A fuel-cell vehicle qualifies for a $5000 base rebate, plus a $2500 incentive “adder,” then another $2000 for an income-limited individual. That is how they get to the max $9500 incentive. Just keep in mind that there are no fuel-cell vehicles currently for sale in the state, the program has never awarded a fuel-cell rebate, and it is an “interesting” use-case where an income-limited individual would be buying the most expensive class of vehicle.)

CHEAPR is electronically integrated with dealers to facilitate applying the rebate directly to the purchase. CHEAPR also has a process to work with Tesla for qualifying vehicles. When you go out of state to pick up your vehicle, the people at the Tesla delivery center know the drill and will guide you through the process.

The incentive applies to new vehicle purchases and lease programs and is available on a “first-come, first-served” basis in case funding gets depleted. Funds depletion won’t occur anytime soon.

The CHEAPR website can be used to verify vehicle eligibility. They publish a list of eligible vehicles. If you are purchasing in the latter half of a calendar year, we recommend that you verify with the dealer that the CHEAPR database has been updated to include vehicles from the next model year.

E-Bike Incentives

CT now has an E-bike incentive. It is $500 for the base incentive with another $1000 available for income-limited individuals (same criteria as the automobile incentives). The voucher is only good at participating brick and mortar retailers at this time. It will be extended to online retailers in the future. This is the page on the CHEAPR website that describes the program and has a link to the voucher application. There is a minimum age of 18 to be eligible. (It is our understanding that the e-bike incentive is fully subscribed.)

Norwich Public Utilities Incentives for Purchases of EVs

These incentives, though offered by a utility, have nothing to do with the Eversource and UI incentives. The structure is straightforward and simple and applies to both vehicles and chargers.

  • New BEV rebate – $1500
  • New PHEV rebate – $1000
  • Used BEV rebate – $1000
  • Used PHEV rebate – $500

Used EVs must be no older than 2019 model year.

This program is a rebate that is given post purchase. Instructions on the site guide one to a form and documentation submission. There don’t seem to be a lot of rules around what you buy, but we are less familiar with this program and advise checking.

This is the page for the program. The page only refers to 2022. We have been advised that the program has been extended to 12/31/24.

Share This