FAQ

General Questions

  1. Who do I contact if I have questions about the rebate program?
  2. What is DRIVE EV?
  3. What vehicles are eligible for DRIVEEV rebate program?
  4. What vehicles are not eligible for the rebate program?
  5. Are leased vehicles eligible for the program?
  6. What can I do if I am not sure if the vehicle I am purchasing/leasing meets the requirements of the program?
  7. Is there a limit of rebates per household or just individuals?
  8. What Municipalities have the highest asthma rate due to traffic exposure, and will my entity qualify for the additional DRIVE EV FLEET $1,000.00 rebate?
  9. Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?
  10. My application has been approved. When will I receive my rebate check?
  11. Is the DRIVEEV rebate taxable income?
  12. I want more detailed information about DRIVEEV. Can I get a copy of the DRIVEEV Guidance Document?
  13. Where do I find the terms and conditions of the rebate program?

Application Process

  1. How do I apply for the DRIVE EV rebate program?
  2. How do I apply for the enhanced rebate program DRIVE+?
  3. How does the DRIVEEV application process work?
  4. What if I purchased a vehicle prior to the DRIVEEV start date?
  5. Can I mail in my supporting documents?
  6. When and how do I reserve my rebate?
  7. How can I apply if I don't have computer access?
  8. How will an applicant know if they have been approved for the rebate?
  9. What are the applicant requirements?
  10. How do I qualify for the additional DRIVE+ rebate?
  11. Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?
  12. Is there a deadline to apply?
  13. Can I appeal the denial of my rebate application?
  14. Are there any federal tax incentives for electric vehicles?

General Questions

1. Who do I contact if I have questions about the rebate program?

Please contact the DRIVE EV program administrator at (401)-574-9117, or Energy.DriveEv@energy.ri.gov, for all program inquires. Program administrator will return voicemails by the next business day.

2. What is DRIVE EV?

Driving Rhode Island to Vehicle Electrification DRIVEEV is an electric vehicle (EV) rebate program administered by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) to support adoption of electric vehicles by Rhode Island residents, small-businesses, non-profits, and public sector entities.

3. What vehicles are eligible for DRIVEEV rebate program?

There are three types of vehicles eligible for the program.

  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
    BEVs are fully electric, zero-emission vehicles powered solely by an electric battery. Most BEVs are capable of direct-current fast charging (DCFC) and Level-2 charging.
  • Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
    Zero-emission vehicles that are run on compressed hydrogen fuel that produces electricity to power the vehicle.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)(Not Eligible for DRIVEEV FLEET program)
    PHEVs are hybrid electric vehicles that have zero-emission vehicle range capability and an onboard electrical energy storage device that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. In general, PHEVs are vehicles that can be driven using electricity, gasoline, or both.

New EV must be at or below $60,000.00 (final sales and purchase price agreement).

Used EV must be at or below $40,000.00 ((final sales and purchase price agreement).

4. What vehicles are not eligible for the rebate program?

  • Aftermarket plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicle conversions;
  • Electric scooters, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), electric bicycles, and electric busses;
  • Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) or Low-Speed Vehicles (LSPs) ; and
  • Zero-Emission Motorcycles (ZEMs).

5. Are leased vehicles eligible for the program?

Yes. Leased vehicles are required to have lease terms of at least 24 months to be eligible for the program.

6. What can I do if I am not sure if the vehicle I am purchasing/leasing meets the requirements of the program?

Please contact the DRIVEEV program administrator at (401)-574-9117, or Energy.DriveEv@energy.ri.gov before purchasing or leasing the vehicle to find out if the vehicle may be eligible.

7. Is there a limit of rebates per household or just individuals?

The DRIVEEV rebate program is one application per individual (per 48-month period).

8. What Municipalities have the highest asthma rate due to traffic exposure, and will my entity qualify for the additional DRIVE EV FLEET $1,000.00 rebate?

Yes, if your entity is located within the following Municipalities you will qualify for the additional $1,000.00 rebate.

  • Central Falls
  • Cranston
  • East Providence
  • Pawtucket
  • Providence
     

9. Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?

No. All vehicles must be purchased or leased at a licensed Rhode Island automobile dealer and also registered in Rhode Island. Please contact the program administrator at (401) 574-9117, or Energy.DriveEv@energy.ri.gov if you have any questions.

10. My application has been approved. When will I receive my rebate check?

Rebate checks are typically mailed within 4-6 weeks of application approval. There may be delays in check processing and mailing.

11. Is the DRIVEEV rebate taxable income?

The DRIVEEV rebate may be considered taxable income by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Rhode Island Department of Revenue Services. It shall be the sole responsibility of the recipient, individually, to seek professional advice and determine the tax consequences of DRIVEEV.

12. I want more detailed information about DRIVEEV. Can I get a copy of the DRIVEEV Guidance Document?

Yes. You can download a copy of the DRIVEEV Guidance Document which contains the detailed guidelines for the rebate program.

13. Where do I find the terms and conditions of the rebate program?

Click here to read the terms and conditions.

 

Application Process

1. How do I apply for the DRIVE EV rebate program?

Applications for DRIVEEV and DRIVEEV FLEET are available at www.drive.ri.gov

2. How do I apply for the enhanced rebate program DRIVE+?

You can apply for the additional rebate amount online at www.drive.ri.gov under the DRIVEEV program. As you fill out the application, you will be prompted to submit required documentation to show that you meet the requirements to qualify for the additional rebate amount.

3. How does the DRIVEEV application process work?

After purchasing/leasing and taking possession of an eligible vehicle, please visit www.drive.ri.gov to submit an application and upload supporting documentation. You must submit an application and upload supporting documents within 120 days of your vehicle purchase or lease. DRIVEEV program administrator will contact you via email with status updates or requests for additional information.

4. What if I purchased a vehicle prior to the DRIVEEV start date?

Only eligible vehicles purchased on, or after, the DRIVEEV start date (07/07/2022) are eligible to apply for an incentive. There will be no retroactive rebates for prior purchases/leases.

5. Can I mail in my supporting documents?

We recommend submitting your application and documentation through the secure online portal. Please contact the program administrator at (401) 574-9117, or Energy.DriveEv@energy.ri.gov if you have any questions.

6. When and how do I reserve my rebate?

Vehicle rebates may be reserved on, or after 07/07/2022 and after vehicle purchase or lease. Rebate funds are reserved at the time of application submission. All funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

7. How can I apply if I don't have computer access?

We can assist you through the application process if you don't have access to a computer. Please call us at (401)-574-9117 to begin the process.

8. How will an applicant know if they have been approved for the rebate?

If funds are available when the application and supporting documents are submitted, the amount will be reserved. As long as all the requirements are met, the applicant will receive the rebate. A notification email will be sent when the application is approved. For more details on the application requirements, please refer to the DRIVEEV guidance document  or see item #8.

9. What are the applicant requirements?

Eligible applicants must meet requirements that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Be a Rhode Island resident or a RI small business, non-profit, or public sector entity located and licensed to do business in Rhode Island.
  • Purchase/lease of electric vehicle must be at or below $60,000.00 for a new EV, or at or below $40,000.00 for a used EV.
  • Vehicle must be purchased or leased at a licensed Rhode Island Automobile Dealer (no person-to-person sales allowed). 
  • Be a purchaser or lessee of an eligible vehicle and submit an online application within 120 days of the vehicle purchase or lease date and prior to exhaustion of available rebate funds.
  • Purchase or lease an eligible vehicle and take possession of it before applying for a rebate (on or after 07/07/2022).
  • Lease terms of at least 24 months are required for program eligibility.
  • Register the new vehicle with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles
  • One application per individual (per 48-month period).
     

10. How do I qualify for the additional DRIVE+ rebate?

There are two ways to qualify for the DRIVE+ rebate:
Option 1: You must participate in a state or federal income- qualified program (please refer to page 11 of the guidance document for list of eligible State and Federal programs).

Option 2: You must meet the income requirements based on your household size (please refer to page 12 of the guidance document to view the 2022 Low-Income Guidelines table)

11. Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?

No. All electric vehicles must be purchased or leased at a licensed Rhode Island Automobile Dealer
(No person-to-person sales allowed).

12. Is there a deadline to apply?

Applicants must apply within 120 days of eligible vehicle lease or purchase to be rebate eligible.

13. Can I appeal the denial of my rebate application?

The RI Office of Energy Resources considers appeals to the denial of a rebate application on a case-by-case basis. To begin the appeal process, contact the Administrator at Energy.DriveEv@energy.ri.gov

14. Are there any federal tax incentives for electric vehicles?

Federal tax credits for BEVs and PHEVs range from between $2,500 to $7,500, with factors such as battery capacity determining how much owners are eligible to receive. To meet the tax incentive's standards, a BEV or PHEV must have a battery with a minimum capacity of 4 kilowatt-hours. Vehicles with a battery capacity of 5 kWh or greater are eligible for an additional $417 of tax credit added for every kilowatt-hour in excess of 4 kWh. Vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF, with a 24-kWh capacity battery, will be eligible for the maximum $7,500 credit. Federal tax credit amounts for each qualified vehicle can be found on the Department of Energy's Fuel Economy website. 

A tax credit of up to $4,000 is available for the purchase of qualified light-duty fuel cell vehicles. Vehicle manufacturers must follow the procedures as published in Notice 2008-33  to certify to the Internal Revenue Service that a vehicle meets certain requirements to claim the fuel cell vehicle credit. Notice 2008-33 also provides guidance to taxpayers about claiming the credit. Under current law, this tax credit expires on December 31, 2014. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8910, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website.

For further information on federal tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles and electric-drive vehicles, visit www.fueleconomy.gov. Additionally, local jurisdictions may also have incentive programs. Check with your local jurisdiction to find out what they offer.