NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As gas prices hit record highs, interest in electric vehicles (EVs) is picking up across Connecticut.

EVs are said to be the vehicles of the future, offering a cleaner way to drive, but they are pricey. State lawmakers are debating legislation that would make EVs easier to buy and charge.

“I wanted to reduce my use of fossil fuels,” Barry Kresch, president of the EV Club of CT, said.

Kresch, who lives in Westport, purchased his hybrid 10 years ago, taking advantage of incentives from the state and federal governments on top of the reduced maintenance costs.

“I got a $7,500 federal tax credit and a 3,000 cheaper rebate,” Kresch said. “The rebates were higher back at the time, so it cost me less probably what I would have paid for a gasoline car, and lower costs of ownership.”

But EVs typically cost more upfront. Data shows they cost more than $56,00 on average — $15,000 more than the average price of a new gas-powered vehicle.

On top of the federal tax credit, there are incentives of up to $9,500 for Connecticut residents, although amounts vary based on income qualifications.

“Consumers, when they go buy that car, they need the peace of mind they will get that rebate, and the current system is incredibly complicated,” State Sen. Will Haskell (D-Westport) said.

Haskell co-sponsors a bill that aims to increase the available amount for EV rebates and install more charging stations, particularly in rural areas. This bill would also increase the cap on vehicle prices eligible for rebates and, for the first time, offer rebates for electric bikes.

EVs make up less than 1% of the 250 million cars, trucks, and vans on U.S. roads and only about 3% of new vehicles sales. At the current pace, Connecticut is expected to hit just 23% of its goal for 2025 of 137,500 registered EVs.

Few EVs are currently available due to high demand and supply chain issues. Some customers are waiting months for dealerships to get any in stock.