This year’s graduation might be an especially good time to get your child a new car, especially one that runs on batteries. The 83rd Texas Legislature has passed Senate Bill 1727, which will provide up to a $2500 rebate for the purchase or lease of a plug-in, electric vehicle.
For those of you who prefer leasing, you must take out a four-year lease in order to take full advantage of the rebate. However, you can still opt for the much more popular 36-month lease but you’ll only get $1750 in rebate as it’s pro-rated at $625 a year.
Also, preliminary details say that the car must have at least a 4-kilowatt-hour battery, which is just about anything that has a plug but also excludes typical hybrids like a Toyota Prius or Lexus RX. The program also looks limited to 2,000 beneficiaries a year.
Still, even with the restrictions, there’s a lot to like about this legislation for everyone. A recent study cited Houston’s air as being the sixth-most polluted in the nation. And even if you don’t believe in clean air, it’s hard not to like getting $52 a month back on your lease from all those taxes you already paid.
And because most electric cars can’t go more than 75 miles on an 8-hour charge, you know that junior’s not going to get very far when it comes time for him to explain those bad grades. Small note – it doesn’t look like the Tesla Model S will qualify for this rebate since Tesla isn’t currently qualified to sell cars in Texas.
So what could you buy or lease your perfect child with the help of the Texas government? Here are a few recommendations:
- Chevrolet Volt – For $27,000 or about $300 a month with not much money down, you get 35 miles a on a charge or 300-ish miles when using the gas extender engine. It’s made in Detroit, looks pretty cool, and you know what, you already paid for it anyway. Politics aside, the Volt has great pick-up, is super quiet, and very practical.
- Ford Fusion Energi – For $33,000 or $400 a month, you get a Fusion that’s just like the other Fusion hybrids but will go about 22 miles on pure electricity and further yet on gas. The car’s a little slow, but as the Swedes will tell you, speed kills.
- Nissan Leaf – For about $22,000 or $250 a month, you get into the world’s top-selling electric car. It may have the face of an ugly dolphin, but it has more green cred than your neighbor’s Prius V.
- Prius Plug-In – Speaking of the Prius, it now also comes in a plug-in edition. But don’t get it. You only get about 15 miles on a charge, you’ll look like any other of the millions of Prii, and the Prius is about to get completely updated.
- Smart EV – I put this car on the list because I wanted to see how close to $0 a month you could get with the rebate. The Smart EV starts at about $12,500 or $159 a month. So with the new tax rebate, you’re looking at about $100 a month for a really fancy golf cart for your kid! But a lot of kids really like golf carts, especially outside of Atlanta.
- And a bunch more options.
Or if you just want a really safe, gas-powered car, read my recommendations here.