Best electric cars 2016HARTFORD: Connecticut is providing an additional $2.7 million in new funding to continue the consumer rebate program launched last year to promote the sale of electric vehicles (EVs).

Health and clean air advocates are breathing a little easier. With the expansion of the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program – known as “CHEAPR”. The program provides a cash rebate for residents, businesses and municipalities that purchase or lease a battery-electric (BEV), fuel cell (FCEV) or plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV). FCEVs receive the largest rebate of $5,000, while PHEVs and BEVs receive incentives ranging from $750 to $3,000, based on battery size.

According to the American Lung Association Connecticut could benefit to the tune of $1.3 billion in annual saving for health and “environmental ‘damage.”

“This report shows that a strong zero emission vehicle program is good for America’s health, and good for its pocketbook, too,” said Bonnie Holmes-Gen, director of Air Quality and Climate Change for the American Lung Association.

Other states in the region also offer credits for zero emission vehicles and according tot he study could save big as well: Massachusetts $2.9 billion, New York $7.9 billion, New Jersey $4.6 billion, Rhode Island $407 million.

A recent survey by New Haven based DataHaven said that 13% of greater New Haven residents suffered from Asthma.

For Connecticut to achieve its savings it would need to reach 65% of zero emission vehicles by 2050.

Connecticut’s transportation sector creates nearly 40% of greenhouse gases and a higher percentage of other pollutants. State government has set a goal to reduce CO2 gases to 80% below 2001 levels by 2050.