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New Vehicles, New Rebates, More Charging Places Expected to Boost Electric Vehicle Sales in NY

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A couple of recent developments might make it more likely that electric cars start showing up in people’s driveways.  New York just started a rebate program (details below) that Joe LaMuraglia, Regional Chevrolet Communications Manager, says will open more eyes to the gas-free cars.

“States like New York, putting their money where their mouth is, helping us get the word out, is very helpful.  We really appreciate what the State of New York is doing because we need to get people to know that EV’s can fit into their lifestyle.  The one thing that people don’t think about, until they experience it, they’re actually quite fun to drive.”

That’s what East Syracuse Chevrolet Electric Vehicle Expert Kevin Dano is finding among prospective customers – who come in with some degree of knowledge.

“They may ask a few very technical questions, kilowatt hours, range, will they lose range in the cold?  Some people have never even considered an electric car.  You get them behind the wheel of one and they’re very surprised at the performance of it.  It’s almost shocking, they look at me and go, ‘this is electric?’”

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
The Chevrolet Bolt represents a milestone in range, est. 238 miles-per full charge, at a lower price point than Fisker, Tesla or other exotic brands of electric vehicles.

Dano explains an electric car accelerates quicker than many gas vehicles, because torque is immediately available from an electric engine. 

Chevy just started delivering the “Bolt” E-V, with more than 200-mile range on a charge.  LaMuraglia finds he’s still explaining the difference between EV’s and other green vehicles.

There are hybrids, which use a combination of your internal combustion engine and your electric motors, depending on the situation and they get better fuel economy than a normal gasoline engine.  They’re not as efficient as an electric vehicle.  Then there’s the plug-in hybrid, which gives a little more range.  You plug it in, charge the battery, and it gives the battery enough juice to go a little bit farther.

Increasingly, he believes people will get comfortable with the requirements of cars you have to plug in…just like a cell phone.

“Most people never let their phones die.  You come home, I know I do, I walk in my house; I plug in my phone.  So we think people will have that commute, every day will plug in at work, plug in at home, and keep a nice, full charge.”  LaMuraglia says. “But the fact is, if they wanted to go shopping, I could drive from New York to Boston, I could do so if my Bolt EV has a full charge.” 

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
New York is subsidizing the intstallation of charging stations at workplaces, retail locations and elsewhere as part of the state's overall efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

New York is also investing more in charging stations across the state.  And Dano at East Syracuse Chevrolet thinks that will change more minds. 

“As the infrastructure is built for the D.C. fast charging, which is an option on the Bolt, there’s going to be a lot more interest in it.  Eventually it’s going to be where you’re going to be able to drive across the country with these things.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see electric vehicles either be on par, or pass internal combustion engines in the next 20 – 25 years.”

Dano and has already sold several of the high-range E-V’s, which are priced around $35,000 to $43,000.  Previously long-range electrics were only available from exotic brands with much higher prices. 


Rebate participants must be a New York state resident

Rebates will be tiered by electric vehicle battery range:

  • $500 for EVs achieving <20 miles of all-electric range (EPA label value)
  • $1,100 for EVs with 20-39 miles of all-electric range
  • $1,700 for EVs with 40-119 miles of all-electric range
  • $2,000 for EVs with >120 miles all-electric range
  • For EVs with MSRP>$60,000, rebate is $500

There are also still federal incentives for electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles ranging up to $7500

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.