Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans applied for electric vehicle rebate

Published 4:58 am Monday, June 10, 2024

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By Kirsti Marohn

About 2,200 Minnesotans have received rebate checks for an electric vehicle since the program launched in February.

The Legislature set aside money for EV rebates last year, as part of a suite of bills to address climate change. Minnesotans could apply for a rebate of up to $2,500 for a new EV or up to $600 for a used one.

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As of this month, about 5,800 people have applied. The vast majority of applications were for new vehicles, according to data provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which oversees the program.

About a one-third of those who successfully applied for an EV rebate have received a check, said Pete Wyckoff, assistant commissioner for federal and state energy initiatives.

“We expect that most of the people who applied who have a legitimate application will make it through the system,” Wyckoff said. The rejection rate has been low, he said.

The department hopes everyone who’s already applied will receive a check by August, Wyckoff said.

Both electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids are eligible for the rebates, but there is a cap on how much vehicles can cost. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price must be $55,000 or less for new vehicles, not including taxes and fees. For used vehicles, the purchase price must be $25,000 or less.

It’s not surprising that most of the applications were for new vehicles, Wyckoff said, because the used EV market is just starting to evolve.

“I think if you did this five years from now, you’d have a different breakdown,” he said. “But the EV space is one where most of the cars are fairly new, because it’s been explosive growth.”

All of the funding set aside for Minnesotans who live outside of Xcel Energy’s service area has been claimed. There’s about $600,000 remaining for those within Xcel territory, Wyckoff said.

The Legislature did not provide any additional funding for state EV rebates this year. The federal government offers tax credits for EVs of up to $7,500 for new vehicles and $4,000 for used EVs.

The state’s rollout of an electric bike rebate program did not go as smoothly. The Department of Revenue postponed the launch after the website crashed shortly after the application went live due to high demand.