Electric Vehicles

Some states offer electric car incentives

Experts say the sweeteners, including rebates and access to less-congestedcarpool lanes, are key to making the vehicles more affordable and convenient as automakers roll out the first mainstream electric cars in nearly a century.

The benefits, combined with a federal tax credit up to $7,500, often put the vehicles in the price range of standard cars, says Brian Wynne of the Electric Drive Transportation Association.

Last month, Nissan rolled out its $33,630 Leaf, a fully electric vehicle (EV), and Chevrolet launched its $41,000 Volt, a plug-in that also has an onboard generator powered by an auxiliary gas engine. They’re initially available in a handful of markets.

Tom Franklin of San Diego says a $5,000 state rebate plus the federal credit reduced the price of his Leaf from $35,000 to $22,500, less than his 2006 Toyota Prius. “It really made it a no-brainer.”

Seventeen states already offer inducements for EVs, while five — Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas — are considering legislation, advocacy group Plug In America says.

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“You want to create an environment that’s conducive to the marketplace,” says Jorge Santana, chief of staff for Pennsylvania state Rep. Tony Payton, who’s introducing an EV incentive bill.

Automakers are responding. Nissan launched the Leaf in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Tennessee, all states with incentives. Other lures:


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