Thinking about buying an electric vehicle? Illinois' $4,000 rebate applications are open
If you've been thinking about switching out your gasoline car and going electric, state policy beginning today may nudge you in that direction, but you don't have long to act.
Illinois residents who purchase an electric vehicle on or after today, July 1, are eligible to apply for a $4,000 rebate from the state.
Offered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the rebate program was created under the extensive clean energy legislation that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law last fall.
"My administration understands that the clean energy transition is only as effective as it is accessible," the governor said in a statement. "We are laser focused on making Illinois a leader in addressing climate change and ensuring no community is left behind."
Who is eligible
All Illinois residents are eligible -- but funds are limited, and the law requires IEPA to prioritize applications from low-income purchasers.
As of July 1, the fund has a balance of $17,909,043. Rebates will be issued after the application period closes on Sept. 30. With low-income purchasers given priority in disbursement, rebates will be issued based on the date received by the agency.
The IEPA provides specific income thresholds by household number in the application. Below are the first five income cutoffs. For example, an application whose household count is three must have a calculated gross income level at or below $68,656 to be considered low-income.
• 1 individual: $42,501
• 2 people: $55,579
• 3 people: $68,656
• 4 people: $81,734
• 5 people $94,811
The IEPA will update its website weekly with the number of applications received and awarded.
Which vehicles are covered
The program exclusively covers all-electric vehicles, and does not apply to hybrid plug-ins. Rebates of $1,500 are available for electric motorcycles. Both new and used vehicles are eligible.
Residents must purchase their vehicle on or after July 1, as long as they apply for the rebate within 90 days of their purchase -- and keep the car for a minimum of one year.
The vehicle cannot have been the subject of a previous EV rebate, and the rebate amount cannot exceed the purchase price of the vehicle.
How to apply
Applications are available on the IEPA website, and must be printed and mailed to the agency, along with the required documents. The agency will not accept applications delivered by fax, email or in-person.
The application covers personal, vehicle and dealership information -- the vehicle must be purchased in the state of Illinois. Documentation requirements include four main components: copy of purchase invoice, proof of purchase, vehicle registration and IRS W-9 or W-8 forms.
Rebates will be issued after the application period closes Sept. 30 in the form of a check from the Illinois comptroller.
The agency has additional information at its FAQ here.
• Jenny Whidden is a Report For America corps member covering climate change and the environment for the Daily Herald. To help support her work, click here to make a tax-deductible donation.