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Illinois taxpayers to pay $17.9 million to subsidize electric vehicle purchases

From The Center Square

The race is on for Illinois consumers looking to get a $4,000 taxpayer-funded rebate for buying an electric vehicle.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration announced the start of Illinois’ Electric Vehicle Rebate Program that brings about a $4,000 taxpayer-funded rebate for consumers who buy an electric car and a $1,500 rebate for electric motorcycles.

The program is a part of a $17.9 million taxpayer-funded plan to pay for rebates on electric vehicle purchases. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30. Applications are available at a state website.

Pritzker discussed his plans for EV in Illinois during his state budget address in February.

“We want to make it less expensive for consumers to buy and drive an electric vehicle,” Pritzker said. “We will be offering $4,000 rebates to consumers and incentivizing the build-out of charging stations state-wide.”

State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, said the governor is focusing on the wrong issues.

“Instead of talking about real relief and reducing our energy costs here in Illinois, we’re looking at increases of up to $600 for Ameren customers,” Neimerg told The Center Square. “We are now energy dependent on other states and I think we are going in the wrong direction.”

Last month, Ameren Illinois issued a letter to customers saying there could be sizable rate hikes this summer. The average Ameren customer is expected to see a price increase of over $50 a month.

“Illinoisans feel it at the gas pump, feel it in the grocery stores, and you bet they will feel it when their power goes out this summer,” Niemerg said.

Pritzker said his plan is about bringing jobs to Illinois.

“With our nation-leading rebate program, it’s never been more affordable for Illinois residents to buy and drive an electric vehicle,” Pritzker said. “From these $4,000 rebates to our workforce development programs to help coal communities move into clean energy jobs, we are laser-focused on making Illinois a leader in addressing climate change and ensuring no community is left behind.”

Pritzker hope to have more than 1 million electric vehicles in Illinois by 2030.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the average price of an electric vehicle is $54,000, according to J.D. Power.

As of July 1, 2022, the EV Rebate Fund has a balance of $17,909,043.51. After the application period closes, rebates will be issued to eligible applicants based on funding availability.

Requirements to be eligible for an EV rebate in Illinois include:

– The purchaser must reside in Illinois at time of vehicle purchase and at the time the rebate is issued.
– The vehicle must be purchased from a dealer licensed by the Illinois Secretary of State.
– Rented or leased vehicles do not qualify for the rebate.
– The rebate amount cannot exceed the purchase price of the vehicle.
– The purchaser must retain ownership of the vehicle for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately after the vehicle purchase date.
– The purchaser must apply for the rebate within 90 days after the vehicle purchase date.
– Documentation requirements include a copy of purchase invoice, proof of purchase, vehicle registration, and IRS W-9 or W-8 forms.

Illinois EPA will prioritize applications from purchasers whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the state’s median income, or around $54,000.

A $14.3 million program to incentivize EVs in Texas gave out millions in rebates to affluent people who bought luxury cars.

An investigation by The Center Square found one Texan got a $2,500 rebate through the program after buying a Porsche 918 Spyder, a limited production hypercar, with a base price of $845,000. Another Texas resident was reimbursed $2,500 for buying a Karma Revero GT. The 2021 version of that sports car has a sticker price of between $144,800 and $152,800, according to Edmunds.

BELOW: An electric vehicle charging station in Springfield.

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