Delaware Clean Vehicle Rebate Program Now Active

Thanks to its new Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, the state of Delaware is now offering a $2,200 rebate to buyers of any vehicle which can be plugged into an external source such as a charging station to charge a traction battery on the vehicle. That means the program does not discriminate between plug-in hybrids (like the Chevy Volt) and fully battery electric cars (like the Nissan LEAF), according to Transport Evolved.

Delaware Clean Vehicle Rebate Program now in effect

Notice this is a rebate, not a tax credit like you get from the federal government. The federal program is a one-time-only deal. You get the tax credit the year you buy the car. If your federal tax liability for the year is less than $7,500, you get a reduce federal credit and there is no carryover to next year. But for Delaware residents, if you buy a qualifying vehicle, you get a rebate of $2,200, no ifs, ands, or buts.

The Delaware program also provides an $1,100 bonus to be applied “towards retrofitting an internal combustion engine into a dedicated electric vehicle.” That language is clearly wrong and obviously is meant to apply to converting an internal combustion engine car into an electric vehicle. The enabling legislation must have been passed at 1 minute to midnight on the last day of the legislative session when sleepy solons didn’t notice the error. Clearly, if you want to convert that 65 Dodge Dart out in the shed to electric power, Delaware will award you $1,100 for the project.

The Delaware Clean Vehicle Rebate Program also provides a $1,100 rebate towards the purchase, lease or retrofit of LPG and CNG vehicles. The program does not benefit owners of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles but that is not much of a concern, as neither Toyota, Hyundai, nor Honda have expressed any interest in marketing their FCEVs in Delaware.

Delaware is no stranger to supporting electric vehicles. Last year, it announced the installation of Level 2 charging stations throughout the state, spaced no more than 50 miles apart. It also began a rebate program designed to help plug-in and electric car owners install a charging station at home.

The state has budgeted $330,000 for the Delaware Clean Vehicle Rebate Program initially. No doubt, state officials will be watching the program closely to determine whether it should be continued or expanded when the first round of funding is used up.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.