Response to Comments Driving Rhode Island to Vehicle Electrification (DRIVEEV) will support adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by Rhode Island residents, small-businesses, non-profits, and public sector entities. The public comment period for DRIVEEV’s initial draft program design was open between April 7, 2022, to May 22, 2022. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) thanks the public for all feedback provided to date. We received a total of 67 comments on a variety of topics. Although all feedback submitted was insightful, OER would like to specifically address the top three comment themes: Rebates for e-bikes Increase the price cap for new and used vehicles Retroactive rebates 1. Rebates for e-bikes Of 67 total comments received, 13 comments recommend OER expand DRIVE to include rebates for ebikes. OER is aware that other states are developing rebate programs for e-bikes and acknowledges the demand for e-bikes and the role e-bikes may play in Rhode Island’s climate strategy. However, at this time, OER is prioritizing its efforts (and funding) for vehicles only as we look to launch the DRIVE program in early-July. In time, OER will consider extending DRIVE’s scope to include e-bikes. This may necessitate seeking additional funding to support program expansion. OER thanks commenters for raising this issue and would like to engage again on this issue in the future. 2. Increase the price cap for new and used vehicles 15 commenters recommended alterations to the proposed price caps. OER thanks commenters for this insight and has modified the price cap for new and used vehicles based on the feedback received. The following changes have been applied: Purchase or lease a new eligible EV with a final sales and agreement purchase price at or below $60,000.00 Purchase or lease a used eligible EV with a final sales and agreement purchase price at or below $40,000.00 3. Retroactive Rebates 11 commenters asked OER to offer rebates for electric vehicles purchased or leased prior to the launch of DRIVE. Although OER understands the frustration for not having an electric vehicle rebate program available since 2017 due to lack of funding, OER cannot extend the DRIVE EV rebate program to any purchases that occurred before the formal launch date of the program. At this time, OER has a limited budget of $1.25M allocated to the DRIVE EV rebate program and must prioritize encouraging the purchase of electric vehicles for drivers who may not have done so in the absence of a rebate program. OER would like to address other changes to the DRIVE EV Rebate Program as a result of recommendations from commenters: Commenters noted that global supply chain challenges are resulting in lengthy wait times to receive vehicles from dealerships. In response to this, applicants will now have 120 days to apply and submit all required documentation from time of purchase/lease. Commenters noted that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) should be the only vehicles included under the DRIVEEV FLEET program, noting that plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) contribute towards the high-asthma rates due to traffic exposure. In response to this, DRIVEEV FLEET rebates will be limited to BEVs only; PHEVs will not be eligible. Commenters noted that having an Eligible Vehicle List may limit the current EV options for purchase/lease. In response to this, we have removed the eligible vehicle list. To be eligible for the rebate program, the electric vehicle must be at or below the final sales and purchase price agreement of $60,000.00 for new vehicles, and $40,000.00 for used vehicles. Lastly, due to unforeseen technical issues with internet-based applications, we had to remove the option to “pre-qualify” for rebates until we have the capacity to add this back into our program design. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) thanks the public for all feedback provided. Please find Public Comments submitted during Public Comment period here.