EV Incentives: Policy Tools

Local EV incentives and driver perks, such as priority parking and HOV lane access, can help to spur new EV sales.


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3.1.  EV Purchase Subsidy

Cities can offer EV rebates to reduce the capital costs of EV ownership. Rebates should be offered at the point-of-sale and can be designed with a vehicle cost cap to focus the benefits on low and middle-income residents.


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3.2.  EV and eBike group buy program

EV group buy programs extend vehicle discounts to consumers through strategic partnerships and community-based outreach and marketing. Local dealerships provide limited-time EV discounts and in exchange, the municipality coordinates with local partners to educate the community and promote the program.



3.3.  Protected EV-designated parking spaces & signage

Cities implement signage and parking regulations for EV charging spaces through a zoning or parking ordinance to prevent EV charging spaces from getting blocked by gas-powered vehicles. Cities can collaborate with other agencies to increase EV signage and way-finding throughout the community for EV drivers and non-EV drivers alike. For any City facilities with publicly-accessible charging, the City should install EV signage at the facility entrance to help increase consumer awareness from adjacent roadways.


3.4.  Discounted parking rates for EVs

Cities can offer free or discounted parking rates for EV drivers at city parking meters and city-owned parking garages. EV parking programs can be designed to phase out once EVs reach a certain occupancy rate, such as 5% for city-owned parking garages.



3.5.  Carpool lane (HOV) access for EVs

Allowing EVs to travel in HOV, HOT, or BRT lanes without paying the toll or satisfying the 2-3 passenger minimum requirement. Programs can include a permit cap or performance standard to avoid HOV lane congestion from high penetration of EVs. This will generally require negotiating agreements with CDOT.


“Researchers found the most influential incentive for increasing adoption (by 8.5%) proved to be allowing EV drivers to utilize HOV lanes without a passenger.”
— National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): The role of demand-side incentives and charging infrastructure on plug-in electric vehicle adoption

Example feebate diagram, Source: ICCT

3.6.  Vehicle feebate program

A fee-bate is a revenue-neutral system that collects fees from buyers of “gas guzzlers” and redistributes them as rebates to buyers of highly efficient vehicles such as EVs. Feebates have been implemented in France and Denmark, and have been considered in some states in the U.S.