Chicago offering incentives for fleets who switch to electric vehicles

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Chicago will start offering in the spring of 2013 point-of-sale vouchers worth up to 60 percent of an electric vehicle’s value for truck and bus fleets converting diesel-powered trucks to electrically powered ones, the city announced this week.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement Tuesday, saying the incentive program should help in building a “robust public and private electric truck fleet” in the city.”

The vouchers will be applied at the point of purchase, and the exact value of each will be roughly 60 percent of the “incremental cost of the electric vehicle (over the cost that might be expected for traditional diesel vehicle and will be determined by the size of the truck’s battery pack,” says the announcement. 

A call for applications will be issued in the spring, and the city says it expects to issue about 250 vouchers. Eligible fleets include those that operate in the Chicago area, including the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenrey and Will, and vouchers can be used either at dealerships or through manufacturers. 

The voucher program is funded by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and its Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, which gave the city $15 million.