PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state program giving Rhode Islanders up to $2,500 when they purchase a new electric vehicle has awarded nearly half a million dollars in rebates since the July kickoff.

The DRIVE EV program incentivizes residents, small businesses and other groups to buy or lease electric vehicles, part of a larger state goal to climate change and reach “the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals mandated by the 2021 Act on Climate.”

People can get up to a $2,500 rebate for a new electric vehicle and up to $1,500 for a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. If the vehicles are used, the rebates drop to $1,500 and $750, respectively.

November has seen the highest number so far, with 38 electric and plug-in hybrids sold, resulting in total rebates of $89,750. The program began on July 7 with a budget of $1.25 million and had $829,750 remaining as of Monday.

“People were on waiting lists more during the summer,” said Sara Canabarro, a DRIVE EV program administrator. “I think we’ll see these numbers increase starting in January.”

The most popular car brands are Chevrolet (46 rebates), Hyundai (39), Tesla (29), Toyota (25) and Volkswagen (12).

Canabarro said Tuesday that the Chevrolet Bolt is the top selling model in the program statewide, followed by the the Hyundai Ionic 5, Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, and the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

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To qualify for the rebates, new electric vehicles can’t cost more than $60,000 and used vehicles can’t cost more than $40,000.

For Rhode Islanders who meet certain income requirements, the program provides an additional incentive up to $2,000.

The DRIVE EV website also tracks where rebate applicants are from, with Providence seeing the most (23) since July, followed by South Kingstown (16), Warwick (15), Cranston (14) and East Providence (9). You can find the number of applicants from your area below.

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The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) oversees the DRIVE EV program, with funding coming from both federal and state sources.

Tolly Taylor ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook