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New York lawmakers, as part of the state budget, are eyeing rebates for eletric and “zero-emission” vehicles in an effort to encourage individuals and municipalities to buy more of them.
The rebates would provide up to $2,000 per vehicle for individual buyers and $5,000 per vehicle for local municipalities, according to legislation proposed in a tentative budget deal that lawmakers were weighing Thursday. It would also grant rebates to municipalities for building related infrastructure, such as charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations. Environmentalists hailed the idea as a way to reduce the high volume of carbon emissions produced in conventional cars.
“It appears that New York State is going to fill a gap in its effort to address climate change,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, a lobby group. He added that activists had stepped up lobbying efforts in recent weeks.
“This was a glaring omission in New York’s efforts to tackle climate change,” Iwanowicz said.
The federal government already offers tax credits of up to $7,500 to purchasers of electric vehicles and hybrids, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
“With a transportation sector that accounts for 35 percent of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions, a consumer electric vehicle rebate is one of the best ways for New York to drive away climate pollution,” said Kat Fisher, the Sierra Club’s New York Electric Vehicle Initiative Organizer.
The Sierra Club said an electric vehicle emits 70 percent fewer emissions that the conventional car.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2014 announced that New York would join seven other states in working to add more clean vehicles to the nation’s roads. The goal is to put 3.3 million of the zero-emission vehicles on roads by 2025.