After September, Massachusetts won't give rebates to people who buy electric vehicles. The state program behind the rebates is running out of money.
For the last five years, the state has been giving $1,500 rebates to people who buy electric vehicles. The MOR-EV programhas given over $30 million to more than 14,000 electric vehicle buyers. But as electric vehicles get more popular, money for the program has been running dry, and state lawmakers have failed to extend the program.
"2018 really saw a boom in Massachusetts of folks using the program to adopt a zero-emission vehicle, and the demand outpaced the resources," said Amy Laura Cahn of the Conservation Law Foundation, who is on the state's Zero Emission Vehicle Commission, which oversees the program. "But part of that has to do with the fact that there hasn't been a dedicated funding source to rely on."
The MOR-EV program has been funded by discretionary funds coming from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is a carbon cap-and-trade program for power plants, but has not had its own dedicated funding source.
The state Department of Energy Resources proposed two amendments during the Fiscal Year 2020 legislative budget to extend the program, but the amendments were not adopted by the legislature.
“The administration is pleased to extend the MOR-EV program through September, and will continue its work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move Massachusetts in the direction of a clean transportation future through the commonwealth’s other grant programs that incentivize the electrification of the transportation sector and efforts like the multi-state Transportation Climate Initiative,” said Katie Gronendyke, a spokesperson for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
On Monday, the state's Zero Emission Vehicle Commission voted to express its support for the program. They're calling on Gov. Charlie Baker and the legislature to find a way to continue funding the rebates.