Dustin Tanner

Dustin Tanner of St. Albans was able to get a 2011 Prius through the state-sponsored MileageSmart program.

MileageSmart, the program that supports low- and moderate-income Vermonters in purchasing used, clean cars reached the 100-vehicle mark — less than a year after launching.

Dustin Tanner of St. Albans was a recent beneficiary of the program.

“For years I’ve wanted to own a more fuel efficient vehicle, but the costs were prohibitive,” Tanner said. “My wife and I commute to Williston for work, and so we tend to put on a lot of miles.”

Through the MileageSmart Program, Tanner was able to get a 2011 Prius at a price that worked for his family.

“In just a few months, I have cut my gas bill in half and have significantly reduced my carbon footprint,” he said.

The MileageSmart incentive program covers 25% of the purchase price of a used vehicle, sold at a Vermont dealership and rated at 40mpg or better. The program is capped at $5,000 per recipient.

Dozens of vehicles are eligible — from gas hybrids like the Toyota Prius, to plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt, to all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf. Of the vehicles purchased to date through the MileageSmart program, 67% are high-MPG hybrid vehicles and 33% drive entirely or in-part on plug-in electricity.

“More green cars on our roads addresses our state’s carbon emissions and helps Vermonters lower their gas and car maintenance expenses,” Paul Zabriskie, director of climate impact programs at Capstone Community Action, said. “The upfront cost of a hybrid or electric vehicle can be prohibitive. We’re not going to reach our carbon goals without ensuring every Vermonter can transition to a clean car - and that’s what MileageSmart helps do.”

To qualify for the incentive, a Vermonter must be 18 years or older and meet income requirements. MileageSmart recipients live in every corner of the state and have purchased vehicles from over forty different Vermont dealerships.

“Getting the MileageSmart incentives out to our neighbors through the heart of the pandemic has been so impactful,” Samantha Hurt, MileageSmart Program Administrator, said. “Many MileageSmart recipients needed transportation to get to work, to bring their kids to childcare, to cover the basics. As the pandemic threw us curveball after curveball, we were able to help folks improve reliability and lower costs of transportation.”

The MileageSmart program received renewed funding during the 2021 legislative session. The program’s budget will allow it to support the purchase of an additional 250 vehicles over the 2021-22 fiscal year.

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