CHICAGO (WGN) — Beginning July 1, the State of Illinois will offer $4,000 rebates to buyers of electric vehicles.

The hope is the offer of cash will increase interest in the eco-friendly modes of transportation. 

But there are concerns that money set aside for the program will only go so far.

Demand for electric vehicles is growing by the day, with the average price of gasoline in Chicago now at around $6 per gallon.

In all, there is $17.9 million earmarked for rebates. It may sound like a lot but that only covers 4,475 drivers. If gas prices remain high as expected, the money could run out within months.

There are now about 45,000 registered owners of electric vehicles in Illinois. About 3,000 of them were purchased in the last two months.

The Illinois EPA is overseeing the rebate program. The agency says:

  • Low-income buyers will receive priority.
  • Buyers must apply for a rebate within 90 days of purchase.
  • Vehicles must be purchased after July 1.
  • Plug-in or hybrid vehicles are not eligible.
  • Buyers must own the vehicle for at least 12 months.

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