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Bank of America to Reimburse Employees $3K for Hybrids

7 June 2006

Bank of America Corporation is beginning a pilot program to reimburse $3,000 to eligible employees purchasing a new hybrid vehicle. The program will be available to more than 21,000 employees living within 90 miles of Boston, Charlotte, and Los Angeles.

The company will evaluate the pilot, factoring in participation levels and demand to assess how it could be rolled out company-wide. The pilot mirrors the Internal Revenue Service’s hybrid vehicle tax credit program and will apply toward a hybrid vehicle as defined by the IRS.

Employees will be eligible for this reimbursement only once and are responsible for paying taxes on the reimbursement. All full-time and part-time employees working at least 20 hours per week in the three pilot cities are eligible.

Given the size of our commuting associate base, the hybrid program expands our commitment to the environment and helps our associates to participate in making a difference while cutting down on their commuting costs.

—Anne Finucane, Bank of America Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs executive

The plan would represent the largest yet in terms of potential employee reach, although other firms such as Google and Hyperion Solutions are offering larger reimbursements. (Earlier post.)

June 7, 2006 in Hybrids, Policy | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

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This on top of federal, state, and local rebates or not? Overall, the three levels of govt. should entice business to invest in vehicles/fleets that are more fuel efficient over a broad range of technology. From pilot injection diesel engines, to hybrids, to networked car/van pooling (cell phones, gps, palm pilots, maps).

In addition to fed, state, local.

That's awesome but they should also be providing incentives for employees to take mass transit.

I don't know what the incentives are in those states but if BA was doing this in Colorado, you couldn't afford not to buy a hybrid. Also, if they are subsidizing vehicles like the Toyota Highlander or some of GM's offering (except the Saturn), then this is a pretty stupid program if you're trying to help the environment.

I don't know about other states or employers. My employer provides us with an ECO Pass for free travel on the Denver RTD system. I can ride the bus or light rail at no cost to me. The employers fund it, and I have no idea at what rate. I also teach at CU Denver, and I know the Students there also get ECO Passes, so many of them ride the bus or light rail to classes.

Companies endorsing carpooling, hybrids, mass transit, and so on are going the WRONG direction! The solution is to STOP commuting. I guarantee you that probably 80% of the company's employees could work from home at least 1 day a week and probably at least 20% could work from home full time.

We need companies to realize that working remotely is the best solution for the environment. That solves completely the issue of having offices in downtown and houses 15-50 miles away in the 'burbs. When your home IS your office, it's irrelevant because you're commuting zero miles a day.

It would behoove BofA to model their rebate on the current gov. hybrid rebate
Hybrid vehicles with the lowest emissions and highest mpg should get the most, vehicles with higher emissions, lower mpg get less- all the way down to the hybrid Chevy Silverado

Sid- Workers could just as easily move closer to their company. I moved within 3 weeks of starting my job and now I get to walk to work whenever I want (20-25 minute walk).

Heating bills for a building full of workers would be less than the heating bills for every workers house. A company could more easily install renewable power generation on their roof (photovoltaics) then every homeowner.

The cost for every homeowner to have a high speed internet connection and VPN access to their server at work far eclipses the cost of a T-1 line (or two). You won't even be using your high speed internet line very often (but when you do you expect the full speed so that keeps you from using a lower speed cheaper dial in line). Every homeowner would now need a work phone line in addition to their home phone line (I would NEVER give out my home phone number to a customer so they could bother me whenever they wanted...I like to keep strict office hours).

I would have to insure security at home anytime I am working on proprietary documents (circuit schematics, source code, etc) and that is much easier to handle at an office. You have an IT dept to handle maintenance of your systems...is he going to make house calls or do you have to bring in your system if it ever fails?

I'm sure homeowners would love this more than people who live in apartments since they could designate a percentage of their home as an "office" for tax benefits. People could save costs on daycare...nah, you would never get any work done if you have young children who need attention.

The list goes on and on...working at home 1 day a week would be plausible, depending on your job, but I don't feel like shelling out $7500 to set up a lab at home whenever I need to test something (and that $7500 would still buy me a setup which is sub-par to what I have available at work).

Moving closer to work isn't nearly that easy for people in general. What about people who work in an industrial park or other setting that's miles from the nearest housing? What about two-job families where their occupations are relatively far apart? (I have friends in exactly this situation--they both have good jobs located about 80 miles apart, with zero chance of working from home. No matter how you slice it, they'll spend a lot of money on travel. Or at least one of them will have to change jobs.)

I don't see how very many people who work in an "industrial" park would be able to work from home either.

I have seen many industrial parks that are not too far from residential areas. Close enough so that a bus ride would not be inconvenient.

Obviously there are several solutions, not some sort of one size fits all. Employers should encourage what makes sense given the industry that they're in, who works for them, and where they're located. I bet that BA has a bus/T pass option in Boston and they've probably got similar things going in LA and Charlotte. Most big employers offer perks like that.

Can someone explain to me why BoA is doing this? let's not kid ourselves, these guys care about making money and little else. how exactly is this helping their bottom line at all? seriously, what's in it for them?

Advertising, PR and maybe something to write in a sustainability report.

Excellent article and comments about high speed internet access and T1 Internet Service it offers the fastest internet connection available.

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