Vermont is known as one of the most environmentally-focused states in the US, and their EV programs hold up to that reputation.
Vermont follows the California Air Resources Board’s clean air rules and policies, offering rebates, incentives, and tax credits to help the state adopt more environmentally conscious practices. There are 345 public charging stations in Vermont, including 299 locations with Level 2 charging and 48 stations with DC fast charging. Just this month, Vermont invested an additional $7 million for the Vermont Community Electric Vehicle Chargers Incentive Program. The program provides incentives for installing EV chargers at workplaces, multi-unit homes, and in communities.
Vermont’s investments in EV infrastructure have paid off. Vermont is the #1 state in the U.S. in terms of EV charging accessibility, with 139.7 EV chargers per 100,000 people. With 871 EV charging ports statewide and 4,776 BEVs registered in the state, that’s a ratio of about 5.48 all-electric cars per charger. Vermonters rarely have to worry about waiting for their turn to charge!
Vermont Incentives, Programs, and Rules
Vermont has several incentive programs at both the private and public level, helping expand their EV reach across the state.
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) initiated the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) grant program in 2014. EVSE is funded by the Department of Environmental Conservation, and since 2014, Vermont has invested over $3.5 million in public EV charging stations. There are now 8,875 plug-in electric vehicles registered in Vermont, 54% of which are all-electric BEVs.
Since inception, Vermont has received continued funding towards EV expansion including $2.8M in 2017, $4M in 2019, and $2.5M in 2020. In 2021, Vermont awarded $1M to fund a specific pilot program to incentivize the installation of charging stations in multi-unit affordable housing, attempting to make EV home charging access more equitable and affordable across the state. In 2022, the state legislature appropriated over $10M to continue funding incentive programs for EV charging, with at least 30% of these funds going towards the multi-unit program.
Vermont’s Agency of Transportation (VTrans) offers a myriad of financial incentives for EV drivers. For low- and moderate- income residents purchasing or leasing a new EV with a manufacturer’s retail price of $40K or less, state incentives range from $1,500-4,000 depending on adjusted gross income, filing single or married, and whether the car is a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle. Incentives are limited to one household and individual.
VTrans also administers the High Fuel Efficiency Used-Vehicle Program – called MileageSmart – which provides incentives of up to $5,000 to replace eligible vehicles with a pre-owned vehicle that has a US EPA combined city/highway fuel economy of at least 40 miles per gallon. VTrans offers vouchers of up to $2,500 for the repair of vehicles that failed the diagnostic systems inspection.
There is also the brand new Replace Your Ride program that offers $3000 to income-restricted drivers who trade in their 10+ year old gas powered vehicle for an electric. Phase 1 of the Replace Your Ride program offered consumers the option to receive an incentive at the point-of-sale from participating dealerships, and Phase 2 opened up the option to scrap an ICE vehicle for a prepaid clean mobility card. This limited-time incentive program is available to Vermonters on a first-come, first-serve basis until funding is exhausted. There are so many incentives available, Drive Electric Vermont created an Electric Vehicle Incentive Calculator to help consumers check what they are eligible for.
- Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Grants
- Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Incentive
- Multi-Unit Dwelling Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Grant - See more about the Vermont Community Electric Vehicle Chargers Incentive Program above.
- Burlington Electric Department (BED) - Eligible customers can also apply for a rebate of $2,300 towards the purchase of a new all-electric vehicle or $2,000 towards the purchase of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. [...] BED also offers rebates for the installation of chargers and a special reduced electricity rate for EV charging.
- Electric Vehicle Rebates - Green Mountain Power (GMP) offers up to $3,200 in rebates for electric vehicles. [...] Additionally, GMP residential customers are eligible for a free Level 2 EV charging station when they purchase a new or pre-owned plug-in electric vehicle.
- Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate - Stowe Electric - New plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles are eligible for a $750 rebate, and pre-owned EVs are eligible for a $300 rebate.
EV Specifics: Vermont Terrain, Temperature, and Utility Prices
Vermont touts four beautiful seasons, though leans cooler with its Northeast positioning. In winter months, and on very cold Vermont days (think -4°F), an average EV range will be about half the manufacturer’s official rating. Cold weather, ice, and snow require extra care for an EV, including preheating, indoor storage, and frequent recharging in days of extreme weather. These frigid days make Vermont a difficult place for distance EV driving in winter months.
Average temperatures throughout the spring and fall are around 57°F, which is still below an EV’s ideal temperature of 70°F but far closer than winter averages. Summers can get hotter, peaking in mid-80’s and resting comfortably in the 60’s and 70’s, demonstrating ideal EV weather conditions.
The current national average for gas price per gallon is $3.71, while Vermont’s is just a touch lower at $3.68. However, electricity costs as higher than national averages, largely due to the fact that Vermont consumes more than three times as much energy as it produces, and has to import the difference. For residential electricity, the current national average is 16.14 cents per kWh, but Vermont’s residential average is 21.03 cents per kWh, 30% higher than the national average. Commercial electricity rates are 46% higher than the national average, at 17.98 cents per kWh versus 12.31 cents per kWh.
Vermont has 376 charging stations and more on the way. Vermont has the highest per capita rates of public charging availability in the US, so odds are strong that there is a location near where drivers will want to be.
Most public charging stations require payment. Typically Level 2 charging will cost around $1/hr and DC Fast Charging will cost $0.35/minute. Current EV charging networks include the Blink Network, ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, SemaCharge, and Greenlots. Thanks to the Biden administration’s infrastructure investments, public charging will soon be even easier and streamlined so drivers won’t need multiple apps to plug in.
EV drivers in Vermont frequent Plugshare, a popular source of information on charging stations, with the ability to filter locations based on vehicle model. Drivers can provide feedback, and plan trips through the smartphone app and website. ChargePoint also has a smartphone application which can show real time availability of charging stations on their network.
Future expansion is set to add charging stations at 17 new locations, which will mean travelers on Vermont roads will never be more than about 30 miles from a fast charging location.
Is Vermont a Good Market for Used EVs?
Based on Recurrent’s data, Vermont has one of the smallest used EV markets in the country. Of the EV listings, over 75% are Nissan LEAFs and the rest are Chevrolet Bolt EVs. This makes sense as the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Bolt EV are the #1 and #2 most registered all-electric vehicles in the state. About half of used EV listings are model year 2020 and the other half 2021. The average cost of a used EV in Vermont is $21,823.00, the lowest average price in the country, well below the average national price of $37,546.14.
The Toyota Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid, is the most popular green vehicle that has been registered in Vermont, followed by the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Vermonters love hybrids just as much as they love all-electric vehicles, with registrations in the state evenly split between plug-in hybrid models and BEVs.
Recurrent Fleet Statistics
In terms of the EVs that Recurrent has in its fleet, there are 43 all-electric vehicles, and 5 plug-in hybrids. These figures are similar to the overall used EV listings for the state.
The average daily mileage for a BEV in the Recurrent fleet is 31 miles, and most go between 15 and 47 each day. The EPA-rated range for these EVs is 240.5 miles, and the current range estimate is 233.75 miles. On average, Recurrent EVs in Vermont retain 97.7% of their original range today.
Most of the Recurrent EVs in Vermont are from 2018, followed by 2017 and 2020. This is pretty consistent with the rest of the country’s demographics, although there are fewer 2021 model years in our fleet.
Almost half of the EVs in Recurrent’s Vermont fleet are Teslas, followed by 37.5% Chevrolets.