Vermont is known as one of the most environmentally-focused states in the US, and their EV programs hold up to that reputation.
Since 2014, the state of Vermont has invested over $3.5M in public EV charging stations across the state, including 41 fast charging stations and 89 Level 2 charging stations. Electric cars are spreading fast and are now found in 92% of Vermont communities. Vermont is continuing to invest in public charging stations, as well as in homes and workplaces to ensure EV drivers can reliably access chargers wherever they venture.
Through these investments, Vermont has been ranked one of the top states for accessibility to charge EVs. Based on data analysis from Forbes Advisor and the US Department of Energy, Vermont ranked the ninth most accessible state in America to charge an electric car, with a ratio of 7.21 electric cars to a single station.
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, investing $200,000 on over a dozen projects in designated downtowns. Since the launch of EVSE, the number of registered EVs in Vermont has risen from 943 in July 2015 to 4,360 in January 2021 – a whopping 362% increase.
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.
- Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Grants – the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation provides funding to local, state and regional departments, businesses, institutions, and nonprofits for projects focused on reducing emissions from diesel engines and vehicles.
- Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Incentive – The Vermont State Infrastructure Bank offers loan assistance to municipalities, regional development corporations, political subdivisions of the state, and private companies working for the state to finance public electric vehicle charging and natural gas fueling stations.
- Multi-Unit Dwelling Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Grant – Funding is available to expand access to EV charging stations at multi-unit dwellings (see more above).
- Burlington Electric Department (BED) – BED provides low- or no-interest loans for the purchase of a new EV. 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 customers low- or no-interest loans for the purchase of a pre-owned EV. Eligible customers can also apply for a rebate of $1,300 on the purchase of a pre-owned EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
- Electric Vehicle Rebates - Green Mountain Power (GMP) – GMP provides residential and business customers rebates of $1,500 for the purchase of a new all-electric vehicle, $1,000 for the purchase of a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, $750 for the purchase of used EVs, and $500 for the purchase of an electric motorcycle. 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 electric vehicles are eligible for a $750 rebate, new all-electric vehicles are eligible for a rebate up to $1,000.
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.
Vermont’s gas prices are pretty much bang on with the national average, sometimes creeping slightly higher or lower depending on supply chains. Vermont’s year ago average gas price was $3.14, compared to a national average of $3.19. In addition, Vermont has an average electric rate of ¢19.53 per kilowatt hour. This is 39.61% higher than the US average rate of ¢13.99. The state has a regulated electricity market, meaning residents may only have one or two electricity providers to choose from when obtaining electricity. This is largely due to Vermont not having the fuels needed to generate electricity themselves in such rural areas, resulting in importing most of their power, which is more expensive.
Vermont has 337 charging stations and more on the way. Vermont has one of 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.
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?
There are another dozen or so plug-in hybrids listed. This is compared to around 60 listings for “pure” hybrids, such as the original Prius, which do not have a dedicated battery mode. Recurrent does not track these hybrids since the battery cannot be charged or measured separately.
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.