SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois awarded $19 million in rebates in 2023, designed to encourage residents to purchase an electric vehicle.

“Here in Illinois, we are leading the clean energy revolution – providing competitive incentives for companies and consumers alike,” Pritzker said Tuesday. “Ever since I signed the landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, we’ve distributed millions of dollars in rebates for residents who buy all-electric vehicles.”

The state has registered 80,000 EVs as of August 2023. Pritzker has a stated goal of having 1 million EVs on Illinois roads by 2030.

According to The Center Square, the program, which offered $4,000 off the purchase of an EV or $1,500 for an electric motorcycle, awarded 4,873 rebates through June 30th, issued through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The Illinois EPA said it received 7,669 applications over the course of two funding rounds. A third will open November 1st, 2023 until January 2024 or until funding runs out. Applications will become available on October 18th, 2023

According to state records, 535 of the rebates were issued to low-income earners, who were prioritized in the selection process.

“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.

The most popular vehicle was shown to be those made by Tesla, with 2,769 rebates awarded. Ford, with its Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, came in second at 420. Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and Bolt EUV accounted for 357 rebates. Volkswagen EVs were fourth, at 326, and Illinois-based Rivian’s trucks and SUVs accounted for 212.

Buyers of luxury EVs, such as the Lucid Air, Audi E-tron, and Porche Taycan, were also awarded rebates.

Sen. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) criticized the rebates for purchasers of high-end electric cars, saying, “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. 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.”

Chesney went further, suggesting that the rebate program be abandoned: “If electric vehicles are 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. 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. ”

To be eligible for a rebate, the vehicle must be exclusively powered and refueled by electricity, plugged in to charge, and licensed to drive on public roadways. Electric mopeds, electric off-highway vehicles, hybrid electric or extended-range electric vehicles that are also equipped with conventional fueled propulsion or auxiliary engines are not eligible under the program.

Eligibility requirements for an EV rebate in Illinois include, but are not limited to:

  • The purchaser must reside in Illinois at the time of vehicle purchase and at the time the rebate is issued.
  • The vehicle must be purchased from a dealer licensed by the Illinois Secretary of State.
  • Rented or leased vehicles do not qualify for the rebate.
  • The vehicle cannot have been the subject of a previous EV rebate under this new program in Illinois.
  • The rebate amount cannot exceed the purchase price of the vehicle.
  • The purchaser must retain ownership of the vehicle for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately after the vehicle purchase date.
  • The purchaser must apply for the rebate within 90-days after the vehicle purchase date.
  • Documentation requirements include a copy of purchase invoice, proof of purchase, vehicle registration, and IRS W-9 or W-8 forms.

A vehicle being purchased may not have previously been the subject of a rebate under the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program.

Funding for the rebate program comes from the latest Illinois budget, which includes $12 million for rebates, less than the nearly $20 million allocated in the last funding cycle.

In addition to the Illinois rebate, buyers can also benefit from federal government tax credits of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a new EV, or up to $4,000 for a used EV with a sticker price of $25,000 or less.