Tesla Model S recharging
New York is trying to clean up its act in regards to air pollution Reuters

In a bid to clean up New York's air, the US state is launching a rebate programme that will reward $2,000 (£1,600, €1,900) to anyone who buys an electric car before 1 April. The incentive will be available from 1 April to anyone who purchases a zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

According to the Associated Press, New York officials want to make electric vehicles a more financially-viable alternative to traditional cars, which are currently the largest contributor to the state's greenhouse emissions.

While they are cheaper to run than petroleum-based vehicles, electric hybrid cars currently require more money up front due to the relative newness of the technology and the cost involved in developing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

The Tesla Model 3, for example, will be Tesla's cheapest to date when it goes on sale in the second half of 2017, yet will still set buyers back a cool $35,000 (£28,000).

This is expected to even out by the turn of the next decade, and by 2022 it is predicated that electric cars will finally become cheaper than conventional vehicles. In the meantime however, environmentalists and those charged with bringing down carbon emissions face a difficult task in trying to make zero-emission vehicles more appealing to buyers.

A spokesperson the New York State Assembly told The Associated Press: "We want to make electric vehicles a mainstream option. They are becoming more affordable and we need to encourage them."

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is understood to be contacting car dealerships throughout the state to make them aware of the program. Buyers may also be legible for the US government's Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit, which offers a rebate of up to $7,500 to drivers of electric vehicles.

In Europe, transport authorities have been making efforts to promote autonomous electric vehicles in a bid to curb traffic in pollution in major cities, including Paris and Amsterdam.