By Tom Gantert and Brett Rowland | The Center Square
The Center Square) – Pennsylvania programs give taxpayer dollars to the state’s more affluent residents so they can buy a government-preferred electric vehicle.
Pennsylvania gives up to $1,000 to people eligible to buy an electric vehicle. In 2021, the program issued 1,352 rebates to Pennsylvania residents, said Jamar Thrasher, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
In fiscal year 2021, the most popular subsidized vehicle in the state was the Tesla Model 3, which accounted for 22% of all rebates by model, according to a report from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
From 2011 to 2020, the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program provided more than $14.1 million in rebate funds to 8,855 Pennsylvanians to buy alternative fuel vehicles. The other rebate program, the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program, was expected to hand out $1.5 million in 2021 to encourage state residents to buy alternative fuel vehicles, according to a state report.
Studies show that those most likely to buy an electric vehicle already own one and have an annual median household income of $95,000. According to BlastPoint, a data analytics company out of Pennsylvania, about 25% of likely buyers of electric vehicles have an annual household income above $150,000 a year. Buyers also are more likely to have graduate degrees.
The median household income in Pennsylvania was $63,627 in 2020 dollars, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The top two electric vehicles sold in 2021 were the Tesla Y and the Tesla 3, Car and Driver magazine reported. The starting price for a Tesla Y is $64,990, with fully-loaded options costing more than $80,000, according to Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation company. The starting price for a Tesla 3 is $48,490, according to KBB.
The AFIG and AFV Rebate programs were designed to decrease Pennsylvania’s dependence on imported oil and improve air quality by reducing vehicle emissions.