The EV rebate in California offers a huge incentive to drive EVs – but it’s not the only one. In addition to the rebate, you should look into other federal, state and local incentives.
Read on to find out how.
First Off, Why Are There EV Incentives In California?
There are several reasons why California offers incentives to replace fossil fuel cars with EVs.
California was ranked dead last for 17 of 18 years for air quality by the American Lung Association. This was before the recent wildfires. Today, it continues to be the worst state for air quality. On top of that, according to the American Lung Association “more than 80% of Californians live in areas with unhealthy air and over 7,000 die each year from exposure to air pollution”. A lot of this is caused by the ozone (smog) and particle pollution from vehicle emissions.
California is also committed to making the switch from gasoline to electric to meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and reaching carbon neutrality by 2045.
On top of this, California is one of the 11 states that participate in the ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicles) Program, which requires that automakers ensure that a certain percent of all vehicles they sell in the state are ZEVs (ZEVs are mostly electric vehicles, but can also be hydrogen fuel cell vehicles). Currently, the requirement is for 2.5% ZEVs.
So be sure to take advantage of incentives. By driving an EV instead of a gasoline-powered car, you’re doing a service for the environment and the health of other Californians.
The California EV Rebate Overview
Last Updated: June 2020
Since 2010, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project has helped get over 350,000 clean vehicles on the road in California.
The rebate for most Californians for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle can be up to $4,500 depending on the vehicle — and up to $7,000 for low income residents.
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A good rule of thumb for people thinking of purchasing an EV:
You can search for the vehicle and then apply for the rebate.
Currently, there are many EV rebate funds available. And EV lease deals in California can be very affordable — many for $5 to $10/day.
So tell your family and friends in California – more people should be driving EVs!
EV REBATE IN CALIFORNIA KEY POINTS
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EV Rebate For Low And Moderate Income Californians
The EV rebate increases by $2,500 over and above the general rebate for low and moderate income Californians. You’re eligible if your household income is less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
The increased rebates are for fuel-cell electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Note that you’re not eligible if you’re claimed as a dependent.
Bay Area low income residents may also be eligible for funding to replace older polluting cars with clean electric vehicles. In other areas of California that participate in Clean Cars 4 all, low-income earners in California can get up to $9,500 to scrap older polluting cars towards a new or used cleaner car or you can choose up to $7,500 in incentives to access public, private, and shared mobility options. Learn more about Clean Cars 4 all.
There are also low-income household discounts of 12% to 30% on your household electric bill through the CARE and FERA programs that can help with vehicle charging. You can enroll here if you have not already.
You could also qualify for a loan or grant from the clean vehicle assistance program.
Other EV Incentives In California
Beyond the rebate, there are other statewide, local and utility incentives.
Some of the statewide EV incentive highlights in California:
How To Find EV Incentives In CA For Your Zip Code
Beyond the statewide EV incentives, you might be able to find some local or utility EV incentives as well. These can include more rebates such as:
Simply enter your zip code here:
Look Up California EV Incentives By Zip Code
Don’t Forget About The Federal Electric Vehicle Credit
You might also qualify for up to a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government. Combined with the CA incentives, your savings could be huge. Get more info on the Electric Vehicle Federal Tax Credit.
You might also be interested in the cash for clunkers program in California – a car buyback program.
EVs Are Affordable With Or Without Incentives
Incentives certainly help, but many EVs already cost less than equivalent gas cars over their lifetimes due to cheaper fuel and less maintenance. Per mile, electricity is already ¼ to ½ the cost of gasoline. California has some of the cheapest EV lease deals in the country.
You can charge EVs at home overnight and even find free EV charging stations near you. And just think about how great it will be to never have to go to a gas station again.
California EV Tax Credits & Incentives Conclusion
By driving an EV, you’re keeping our air cleaner and our climate healthier. You’re benefiting other Californians. You deserve to take advantage of these incentives and feel great about driving your EV.
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