Some leaders in Connecticut are so in no doubt in the state’s new electrified vehicle discount, they believe the state can sell them more effectively than California.
“We’re a small state, but we have some huge thoughts, and maybe we can show California how to do this,” said Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association. “It’s a bit of an experiment.”
Last May, Connecticut became the first state in the country to offer rebates on advanced technology vehicles that are applied when the car is bought. Under the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Buy Discount (CHEAPR) program, buyers can receive between $750 and $3,000 www.rawvehicle.com as a cash-on-the-hood discount.
Eligible for the discount are battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles(PHEV) and fuel cell vehicles (FCV), with the rigorous amount dependent on the vehicle’s range.
“CHEAPR just makes it more understandable at the consumer level because it’s money on the hood. It fits, it feels aptly and it makes it simple,” said Leo Karl. “That is why it’s helping more public take a look at EVs.”
Karl, the president of a Chevrolet dealer in New Canaan, said he sold nine new Chevrolet Volts with this discount.
Other dealers have reported similar success. At Jeff Aiosa’s Mercedes-Benz dealership, the B-Class Electric Drive has been very well loved, in part because it qualifies for the most www.rawvehicle.com $3,000 discount.
“We weren’t selling them heavily before,” he said. “The program certainly made some amped-up demand.”
SEE ALSO: Californians Bought More Plug-in Cars Than China Last Year
While customers receive money directly off their buy price, dealers are also benefitting under the CHEAPR program. Each qualified sale pays dealers between $150 and $300. In the past, EV advocates have complained that some dealers don’t offer BEVs or PHEVs to customers, to a degree because the sales process is more complicated than with a traditional vehicle.
“This is the type of program that can be a win-win-win for the state, auto manufacturers, dealers and patrons,” said Karl.
While Connecticut is beyond doubt seeing a rise in EV sales, the state www.rawvehicle.com has quite a ways to go to catch up to the success of California. From the program’s beginning mid-May through July, Automotive News reported that 125 BEVs and PHEVs had been sold with the new rebates. That puts Connecticut’s on-the-road EV total at around 3,125.
In California, nearly 60,000 plug-in electrified vehicles were sold in 2014 alone. Even given the drastic variation in population, California is still selling far more PEVs per person than Connecticut.
Still, the program has time to gain more footing and place more low emission vehicles on the roads before funds are set to run out, which will probably happen next spring.