(The Center Square) – The first round of Illinois’ rebate program for buyers of electric vehicles is over and a new $12 million round is set to begin.
The next round opens up Nov. 1. The first round for fiscal year 2023 that ended June 30 cost taxpayers $19 million. That is nearly 4,900 purchasers of EVs getting $4,000 rebates for the previous fiscal year. Of those, only around 10% were low-income individuals, despite the program prioritizing such applicants. Among those granted rebates, nearly 300 were luxury models costing up to $125,000, as The Center Square previously reported.
The Pritzker administration says the program is “competitive” and part of the “clean energy revolution.”
“This incentive program was created to encourage Illinois residents to purchase electric vehicles and has already received tremendous response from Illinois motorists, with over $19 million in rebates awarded in fiscal year 2023,” said Illinois Environmental Protection Director John J. Kim said in a statement.
The program launched by the Clean Energy Jobs Act in 2021 gives rebates to purchasers of EVs that meet certain conditions like length of ownership. It was modified to allow a $1,500 rebate for all-electric motorcycles.
State Sen. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, said legislators should look at the data.
“We have poor and working-poor people that are subsidizing what in many cases are very wealthy people to give them the rebates that they are getting out of the state program,” Chesney told The Center Square. “You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that you’re fighting for the working-poor and the working class but then again have subsidies that go to the more affluent.”
Since taxpayers are paying the bill, Chesney said the program needs to be scrapped.
“If electric vehicles is a good product then they should be able to stand on their own two feet and I don’t know why we’re inserting ourselves into the private sector to change consumer behavior,” Chesney said. “If this is in fact good for the consumer, let the consumers buy it but the idea that it needs to be federally or subsidized on state level, I just simply could not support that. ”
Of last year’s total, 2,769 Tesla owners were given rebates, 50 Lucid Air Grand Touring and Porsche owners were given rebates and 101 Audi E-trons were given rebates.
The Center Square reporter Scott McClallen contributed to this report.