The City of Columbus, Ohio is offering $30,000 in rebates to taxi services that buy an electric vehicle for their fleet. The Smart Columbus Transportation Service Provider Battery Electric Vehicle Rebate Program is funded by a $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies as part of the Smart City Challenge.
There are 10 $3,000 rebates available and interested parties can apply through Smart Columbus’ website. Upon the completion of the ten-vehicle pilot, the program is expected to grow to sponsor an additional 30 vehicles; a second application for this funding will be published in October 2018.
The primary purpose of the rebate program is to speed the adoption of electric vehicles, capture data of the cars’ usage, foster sustainability, and educate the public about electric vehicles.
“The EV taxi rebate program will transition thousands of miles driven in central Ohio from combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles, which will immediately impact emissions in our region,” said Michael Stevens, chief innovation officer for the City of Columbus. “It will also generate thousands of positive experiences when our residents hail and ride in an electric taxi — potentially experiencing an electric vehicle for the first time. We see the program not only as a way to deploy more sustainable vehicles quickly, but also as a long-term educational effort that show our residents how quiet, fun and safe electric vehicles can be.”
The City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network.