Vermont is pioneering a ‘gas clunkers for EVs’ trade-in incentive program

Vermont is pioneering a 'gas clunkers for EVs' trade-in incentive program

The state of Vermont has launched an incentive program that will help residents scrap and replace old gas cars with new or used eligible electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs).

The first of two phases of the Replace Your Ride program will help lower-income Vermont residents replace older, high-polluting light-duty vehicles with EVs or PHEVs.

Vermont transportation secretary Joe Flynn said:

The transportation sector accounts for about 40% of Vermont’s carbon emissions. The state is working to rapidly reduce these harmful emissions by providing incentives for Vermonters to switch to cleaner transportation options, and allowing those incentives to be combined with existing state and local utility programs for even greater cost-savings.

To qualify for the Replace Your Ride program, applicants must be Vermont residents listed on both the new EV purchase or lease agreement and the old vehicle registration. Incentives are currently available at the point of sale or lease and are limited to one per person for the life of the program.

State incentives are available on new vehicle purchases or leases of eligible models with a base MSRP of $40,000 or less for PHEVs and $45,000 or less for EVs. The participating dealer list is here.

Incentives of $3,000 are available on a first-come, first-served basis to income-eligible Vermont residents who hand in a gas car that’s at least 10 years old – that’s model year 2012 or older – and switch to a new or used plug-in electric vehicle. The clunker has to be able to start and drive at least 30 feet forward and in reverse under its own power. (More eligibility requirements can be found here.)

For example, the maximum income allowed for an individual filing as single or head of household for a new EV is $50,000 annual income or less, and for a used EV, it’s $51,968.

Vermont’s Replace Your Ride is funded with $4.5 million through the 2021 and 2022 Transportation Bills.

The $3,000 incentive can be stacked with one of the existing (new or used) incentives. Information on the other programs is available at the Drive Electric Vermont’s website. Drive Electric Vermont has a handy “Compare Models” tool to see which models qualify for which rebates.

In Replace Your Ride’s second phase, which will be launched by November 2, eligible applicants can receive a card preloaded with a $3,000 voucher to use on eligible clean transportation expenses at participating electric bike shops or for shared mobility options.

Vermont is the second US state to offer a scrap-and-replace program. California’s Clean Cars 4 All program is offered in four participating air districts – South Coast area including Los Angeles, San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, and Sacramento area – in order to transition lower-income drivers from gas cars to electric vehicles. Depending on income, qualifying California residents can receive up to $9,500 toward the purchase of a new or used plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, or fuel cell electric vehicle, or up to $7,500 in incentives to access public, private, and shared mobility options.

Electrek’s Take

Every single US state should be running an incentive program like this. It helps lower-income residents access cleaner, affordable transportation. If the car is more reliable, then it’s going to give the driver a leg up when it comes to getting to work and taking care of family, for example.

I recently spoke with a woman who runs a cleaning business. She lost a good employee because that person’s car is not reliable. This sort of incentive program would hopefully help alleviate that kind of problem.

There are many affordable EVs on the market, and these incentives will help spur interest.

In the meantime, I’m gonna just leave this tweet, which was posted by the Detroit Free Press and USA Today autos editor, right here, since it illustrates the myth of EVs not being affordable:

Read more: Vermont launches the first state e-bike incentive program in the US, plus other EV programs

Photo: State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

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