Tennessee’s EV rebates go unclaimed

The Tennessean reported this week that less than a fourth of a $2.5 million state fund to encourage purchases of electric cars has been claimed so far.

 

Y’all can spin this one either way you want: (1) It’s a great time to buy an EV in Tennessee, because the state still has plenty of rebate money available. (2) The state still has plenty of money available, ‘cause nobody wants to buy the gol-dern things.

The Tennessean reported this week that less than a fourth of a $2.5 million state fund to encourage purchases of electric cars has been claimed so far. Tennessee offers a $2,500 rebate (in addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit) to EV buyers who agree to take part in the EV Project, which will collect data from their home chargers. So far, only the Nissan Leaf is approved for the rebates, but the Chevy Volt and other models will be added to the program if and when the manufacturers request it.

As of the end of the year, 228 rebates had been issued for Leafs, which went on sale in Tennessee in December 2010. Sales of Volts began in Tennessee in fall 2011.

Nashville Leaf salesman Jim Ransom said it’s no surprise that money remains on the table. “We are still truly in the infancy of rolling out this car. For an electric car, they’re selling incredibly well.”

The money for the rebates came from the Petroleum Violation Escrow Account, made up of money the federal government collects from oil companies that is set aside for energy-related projects.

Increasing EV sales could be a boost for employment in the Volunteer State, as Nissan has its American headquarters in Franklin, and will begin manufacturing Leafs in Smyrna next year.

 

Image: euthman