Delaware to offer revamped clean transportation rebates

(Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

(Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Buying an electric or natural gas powered car? You’ll likely be eligible for a rebate for as much as $3,500.

The state’s efforts to encourage residents to buy alternative fuel cars has surpassed original expectations. More than a year ago, the Delaware Division of Energy and Climate launched a rebate program to help inspire car buyers to pick electric, hybrid or natural gas-fueled vehicles.

In the program’s first 14 months, more than 225 state residents in all three counties have taken advantage of the rebates for electric vehicles. That’s more than twice the program’s original target.

“Many people worry that electric cars are too expensive,” said Morgan Ellis, greenhouse gas mitigation planner with the Division of Energy and Climate. “With their reduced operating costs and the rebates available … many electric vehicle drivers actually pay less over time than those who drive gasoline-powered cars.”

There are some changes to the rebate program that will go into effect in November. That’s when the rebate for battery electric vehicles will change from its current $2,200 to $3,500. The rebate for plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric cars with gasoline range extenders will change from $2,200 to $1,500. The purchase of a natural gas or propane powered vehicle will change from $1,100 to $1,500.

Residents can also get rebates on the installation of a residential charging station. The state will pay 50 percent for a residential installation and up to 75 percent for a commercial or workplace charging station.

In addition to the rebates, the Division of Energy and Climate recently awarded more than $1 million in grants for projects that will add at least 10 new electric car charging stations, three propane fueling stations for school buses and a public compressed natural gas refilling station.

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