Rebate program expands to Chevy Volt buyers - WSMV Channel 4

Rebate program expands to Chevy Volt buyers

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The state of Tennessee is adding a second car model to its electric vehicle rebate program, which so far has drawn fewer participants than expected.

Soon, the state will begin offering $2,500 rebates to owners of the Chevrolet Volt, an electric hybrid car, according to Don Karner, the president of ECOtality, a company involved in administering the rebate program.

The rebate program in Tennessee is now only open to people who buy the all-electric Nissan LEAF.

Car owners who chose to participate in the program must agree to allow data about how they use and charge their vehicles to be collected for a government-funded study. The information is being gathered by the California-based ECOtality. The company received a $99 million stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The state added $2.5 million in matching grant money for the rebates.

The initial program was announced by the State of Tennessee under then-Gov. Phil Bredesen in September 2010. 

Karner says  the program was started to study how electric vehicles are used and to determine where to deploy the charging infrastructure. Public charging stations have now been installed in 12 Cracker Barrel stores across the state.

Fewer Nissan LEAF owners registered to participate in the program than the state predicted, and there is still about $1.9 million left in the rebate account unspent.

Karner says just under 500 LEAF owners are participating in the program.

"We're not getting the participation in Tennessee that we would like, so we decided to deploy some Volts in Tennessee to get the vehicle counts higher," Karner says.

He says Volts have been added to the program in several other cities, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, and Washington, DC.

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