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Environment & Energy

Pennsylvania Continues Incentive Program For Alternative Fuel Vehicles

If you are planning to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle in the next six months, you might be able to get some money for it.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has decided to continue its six-year-old Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program that provides rebates to those purchasing vehicles operating on alternative energy.

Brandon Cwalina, a spokesperson for the DEP, said that they have several energy programs aimed towards households and businesses in Pennsylvania, including the Small Business Advantage Grant program, which awards grants to businesses planning to adopt energy-efficient equipment.

“We’d like to encourage Pennsylvanians to consider renewable and clean technologies, and this rebate program is hopefully one way to incentivize people to do that,” Cwalina says.

Cwalina said they have given out 250 rebates at $2,000 in the past six months and have 250 remaining. They will continue to distribute these until all are distributed or until Dec. 31, 2015, whichever comes first.

“Since 2009, we have given out just about 1,700 of these rebates,” he said.

The DEP has three types of rebates available. Recent buyers of electric vehicles with battery system capacities equal to or greater than 10 kilo-watt hours, such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus and the Chevy Volt, are eligible for $2,000 rebates.

The $1,000 rebates are available for buyers of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with battery capacities less than 10 kWh, which includes the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord. Also eligible for $1,000 rebates are natural gas, propane, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles, including the compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Honda Civic.

A $500 rebate is available for electric scooters, motorcycles, ATVs or any other low-speed vehicle powered by electricity.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, usage of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in Pennsylvania and in the United States has increased. In 2003, Pennsylvania had about 9,000 AFVs, which has increased to just over 25,000 in 2011. In the U.S., the number of AFVs grew from 250,000 in 1995 to more than one million in 2011, mostly because of federal policies similar to the DEP’s.

To qualify for this rebate program, the vehicle must be state registered and be purchased no more than six months before the submission of the application, which is available on the DEP’s website. The rebates are first come first served.