Starting January 1, 2019, Massachusetts will make significant changes to its MOR-EV program, officially known as Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles. Currently, people who purchase a plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle are eligible for a rebate of up to $2,500.
After January 1, the maximum rebate will be reduced to $1,500 and only fully battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars will be eligible — no cars with range-extending internal combustion engines allowed. In addition, the sticker price of the car must be under $50,000 to qualify.
“We have had increasing demand — very high demand — for these rebates,” says Judith Judson, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. “In order to sustain the program and continue to provide rebates at that high a demand level, we are making changes and targeting those vehicles that provide the greatest emission reduction.”
According to radio station WBUR, 12,000 rebates worth more than $25.7 million have been awarded since the MOR-EV program began in June of 2014. Of that total, 56% went to fully battery electric cars and 43% went to plug-in hybrids. It would take a determined buyer to find a fuel cell car available for sale in the Bay State, but apparently there are a few, which account for the other 1% of the rebate money.
EV incentives are very much in the news these days, what with the alleged president threatening to punish General Motors for its decision to shutter 5 US factories by eliminating the federal tax credit for the Chevy Volt and Chevy Bolt. That has fired up
conservatives reactionaries funded by the fossil fuel industry who now demand an end to all incentives and rebates. They are fine with government dollars that flow into their corporate coffers but object to anyone else benefiting from such taxpayer-funded largesse.
“The good news is there’s more and more vehicles that are available at that lower price,” Judson says. “We want to make sure that this program is really reaching drivers who need the incentive, ensuring that there’s the greatest access to the program possible.” The MOR-EV program is scheduled to expire June 30, 2019 unless the Massachusetts legislature elects to extend it.
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