Electric vehicle supply short as state/feds look to expand credits and rebates

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you’ve been thinking about switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle, these gas prices may be the final push you need to more seriously consider it, but the initial investment won’t be cheap and you have to do your homework in order to ensure you qualify for the state and federal incentives that are currently available.

About 3.5% of new car sales in Monroe County in 2021 were hybrid or electric vehicles. That’s up from 2% from the year before.

“I would describe demand as steadily increasing you know, it hasn’t taken off but it’s steadily increasing,” said Rochester Automobile Dealers Association President Brad McAreavy.

The average price of an electric vehicle according to Kelly Bluebook is around $50,000. New York State offers a rebate of between $500 and $2,000 depending on the make and model.

The Federal Government offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 but there is fine print.

“That incentive was available for the first 200,000 EVs that any manufacturer built,” McAreavy explained, “two manufacturers have exceeded that number, General Motors and Tesla.”

That means if that’s what you want to buy, you’re not going to get the federal credit.

Also, something to keep in mind, “there weren’t a lot of EVs in the market to begin with and so now with inventories being what they are, they’re probably even more scarce than they were before,” McAreavy said.

Chances are, you’ll have to order the EV that you’re interested in and it won’t arrive for three to four months.

“Regardless of what happens with gas prices, the industry is going that way. The Federal government and New York are very strong climate-oriented governments,” McAreavy said, “in the next two or three years you’re going to see upwards of 100 different models in the electric vehicle market and it isn’t so much about gas, it’s about climate and that’s what’s driving a lot of that.”

But, with an average price of $50,000, many middle and lower-income families are still priced out of buying an EV even with current credits and incentives.

Sen. Maj. Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) told News10NBC is that the recently passed infrastructure bill addresses the issue.

“First in the bill is $7.5 billion to build charging stations all over New York and all over the country because people won’t buy an EV unless you know you can drive it and charge it but second we are considering a much deeper subsidy for middle income and working people so they can afford the EV as well.”

Both Schumer and Rep. Joe Morelle (NY, 25) say they’re focused on helping more people who are interested in electric and hybrid cars, actually, afford them.

“The fancy cars, the people who buy them can afford them… it’s the middle class and the working class that we need to help get this done,” Senator Schumer said.

More information about the New York State rebates is available here and more information about the Federal rebates is available here.