The program, called DRIVEEV, will be made available to state residents by the summer of 2022 and supported by an initial $1.25 million commitment by OER.
The adoption of sustainable transportation solutions, such as electric vehicles for commuters and fleets, is crucial to Rhode Island’s fight against climate change and achieving the mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals contained in the 2021 Act on Climate.
The Act on Climate requires a 45 percent reduction in the state’s GHG emissions by 2030, leading to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Currently, the transportation sector accounts for more than one-third of statewide greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking at an event held at the Capital Good Fund’s new Level 3 electric vehicle fast charging station, the Governor highlighted complementary funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that will be used to increase the number of publicly available electric vehicle charging stations across Rhode Island.
Together, the two initiatives will increase electric vehicle adoption and ensure more convenient and accessible charging locations for commuters.
“I am proud to announce that Rhode Island residents and businesses will soon have access to electric vehicle rebates that will help meet their transportation needs in a more sustainable manner,” said Governor McKee.
“Increased adoption of EVs will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere – a key driver of climate change and pollution-induced heath impacts, especially in our frontline communities. My budget also includes $23 million in federal funds to expand our network of electric vehicle charging stations. When combined, these investments will encourage more Rhode Islanders to invest in electric vehicles and support the state’s progress toward a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.”
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) will administer the DRIVEEV program and direct existing, non-general revenue funds to support its launch.
In December 2021, the McKee Administration submitted a comprehensive report to the General Assembly that provides strategic policy guidance for improving access to electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state. ■