Vermont announces incentive to increase electric vehicle use

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There’s a new push to get drivers in Vermont to go electric. Governor Phil Scott announced a new incentives program Thursday. Officials are working to make electric vehicles more accessible and affordable to Vermonters in hopes to meet renewable energy goals.

“To do so, we must help people make the transition,” said Gov. Phil Scott. “I believe incentives are the best way to do so.”

In this year’s transportation bill, the state secured $1.1 million to assist low and mid-income Vermonters in buying or leasing electric vehicles.

Currently there’s about 3,000 electric vehicles on the road in Vermont. With the new incentives, the state is hoping to get 50,000 Vermonters behind the wheel of EVs by 2025.

The plan would allow charging stations to charge by the kilowatt hour. Utility companies, like Green Mountain Power, say they’re working with customers to increase access to in-home charging. Since March, GMP said they’ve helped more than 200 people make the transition to EVs.

“Our vision of the future is to kick carbon to the curb and do that in a way that allows us to use the electricity infrastructure in a way that makes it more and more affordable for the future,” Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power.

To address concerns over the lack of public charging stations around the region, the state is using funds from its share of a nationwide settlement with Volkswagen to bring 30 charging stations across the state over the next year.

“We will use additional funds to ensure every Vermonter is not farther than 30 miles from a fast charging station,” said Peter Walke, Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Currently, there are just over 200 charging stations around Vermont. State officials said they’re acting independently, as well as with other states, due to federal inaction on reducing carbon emissions.

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