Vermont Will Pay You $3000 to Scrap Your Gas Car

cash for clunkers program to end in 3 days
Vermont Will Pay You $3000 to Scrap Your Gas CarEthan Miller - Getty Images
  • Vermont is ramping up its electric vehicle adoption program, with an injection of $12.3 million for rebates and incentives.

  • Replace Your Ride is a Cash for Clunkers-like program that will pay qualifying applicants up to $3000 to scrap their gasoline-powered cars.

  • Approved applicants will then use their rebate money to purchase or lease a qualified PHEV or BEV, with pricing limits of $40,000 and $45,000, respectively.

Remember Cash for Clunkers? The $3 billion federally subsidized program was officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System and was aimed at incentivizing high-efficiency vehicle purchases by paying owners to get rid of their low-efficiency vehicles. The program was wildly popular, with billions in funding exhausted in just 55 days, and has been replicated by states across the country. As states work to develop electric vehicle adoption plans, Vermont is the latest one to replicate the Cash for Clunkers program in the name of a cleaner state.

Known as the Replace Your Ride program, the general framework of Vermont’s $12.3 million electric adoption program is similar to the decade-old Federal program. The state will pay you $3000 to scrap your gasoline-powered car if you replace it with a new or used plug-in electric vehicle. There are a series of requirements that Vermont residents must meet before getting the cash.

Photo credit: Drive Electric Vermont
Photo credit: Drive Electric Vermont

The primary requirement is an annual income bracket calculation that is capped at $50,000 of income for an individual and $75,000 for couples. Family households with five or more have a wider eligibility range, with the qualifying income range starting at $80,179 for families of five and ending at $97,996 for families of eight. The incentive can only be used once per person for the life of the program.

The vehicle being scrapped must be at least 10 years old from the current model year, meaning cars from 2012 and before are currently eligible. Most cars and trucks will be eligible, given the 10,000-pound weight limit, and the vehicles will only be required to move 30 feet forward and back under their own power. The vehicle must start readily as well and have a valid inspection sticker. Sorry, no ATVs or farm equipment is eligible. Similar to the Cash for Clunkers program, the ICE vehicles turned in will be disabled and then eventually scrapped for materials.

Then comes the fun part, in which participants shop for their new EVs. Eligible models include those with a base MSRP of $40,000 or less for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and $45,000 or less for all-electric vehicles. Leasing an EV is allowed with this program, though the lease term is required to be 24 months or longer.

Photo credit: Kia
Photo credit: Kia

In addition to the Replace Your Ride program, EV buyers in the state of Vermont are eligible for a state rebate as well. These rebates are calculated by income and tax filing status with a range of $1500 to $3000 for plug-in hybrids and $2500 to $4000 for all-electric models. Vehicle eligibility for these rebates is analogous to the purchasing requirements found in the Replace Your Ride program. With the right combination of income and tax status, some Vermont buyers could get up to $7000 in state rebates on an EV.

With 45 dealerships across the state participating, there should be ample suppliers for Vermont’s future EV buyers. However, problems could arise with vehicle availability and even cost. Automotive production continues to struggle across the manufacturer spectrum and EVs are generally produced in lower quantities than their ICE siblings. Additionally, a number of popular models are ineligible for this program due to price, including vehicles like the Polestar 2, Ford F-150 Lightning, and Tesla Model 3.

That said, the range of affordable EVs continues to grow, and models like the Kia Kona Electric, Mazda CX-30 EV, and even Volkswagen’s ID.4 qualify. And Vermont has made the criteria for ICE vehicle exchange relatively simple, allowing this program to sway buyers who may not have considered an EV before. Though the Federal Cash for Clunkers program was an efficiency push for ICE models, the popularity of the program could be an indication of what’s to come in Vermont. As the program takes off, Vermont will continue to monitor the legislatively provided $12.3 million of funding and will notify applicants when the pool reaches $200,000. Applications remain open, so we’d implore all Vermonters to get in when they can!