Drivers on Long Island consider electric vehicles with potential incentives on the way
Long Islanders are weighing whether they should buy electric cars - especially with a potential new incentive from the proposed climate bill being considered in Congress.
The federal government is dangling thousands of dollars in rebates to entice people to buy environmentally friendly cars.
Anyone who earns less than $150,000 a year or families with an income below $300,000 would be eligible for the rebate. They total $7,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle and $4,000 for a new one.
The problem is finding a place to get one.
Josh Lever, owner of Platinum Volkswagen in Hicksville, says all of their electric vehicles are sold out.
Volkswagen's ID-4 electric vehicle was introduced a couple of years ago.
"It was successful right away believe it or not," Lever says. "They were sold out from day one."
Supply chain issues have also worsened the backlog to get an electric vehicle.
Lever says it will take people at least 6 months out to get one currently.
He still thinks the rebates are a good idea because it could entice people who are unfamiliar with electric vehicles to try one.
"The majority of people that are looking for an electric vehicle have done a tremendous amount of research," Lever says. "A lot of the customers, when they come into the dealership to ask questions, are very versed in the vehicles and know exactly what they're talking about."
Joe Britton is executive director of Zeta, a coalition of businesses promoting electric vehicles. He says it is five to six times more expensive to drive a vehicle on gasoline than it is to run one on electricity.
"So, by making these vehicles more affordable on the front end, you're really driving down that total cost of ownership," Britton says.
There are also $2,000 rebates on electric vehicles that New York state is offering.
The climate bill is still awaiting a vote in the Senate.