Friday, June 09, 2006

BofA Latest Company to Offer Hybrid Incentive

Found some time here where the in-laws are all off at work, so thought I'd sneak in a post or two. From USA Today (thanks, Dad!), news that Bank of America has joined a small but elite group of companies offering incentives to their employees to buy a hybrid car:

In an effort to be more ecological, Bank of America (BAC) announced Wednesday that it will offer $3,000 rebates to employees who buy hybrid vehicles. ...

More than 21,000 employees who live within 90 miles of Boston, Charlotte and Los Angeles will be eligible on purchases of new hybrids that the Internal Revenue Service has qualified for tax credits.

"We want to try it in these cities to see what kind of interest there is," says Anne Finucane, the bank's chief marketing officer. If the program is deemed a success, it could roll out to other regions. The bank employs 200,000 nationwide.

Finucane said the program is in keeping with a companywide push toward a cleaner environment. Enacting the rebates is "the right thing to do," she said.

Bank of America joins employers such as Internet giant Google (GOOG) and bootmaker Timberland (TBL) in offering hybrid incentives.

"We've heard about smaller companies doing this, but for companies like BofA, with thousands and thousands of employees, it takes on a whole new momentum," says Ron Cogan, publisher of Green Car Journal.

So far, the percentage of employees taking advantage of such programs at Google and Timberland have been relatively small, but similar percentages at BofA employees could put thousands of new hybrids on the road. I imagine we'd have to measure the effectiveness of such a program over a period of five years or so -- whatever the average amount of time is people keep new cars. It will also be very interesting to see if the popularity of such programs increases as gas prices stay high...

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