California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project Announces New Incentives For Low And Moderate-Income Drivers

10 months ago by Mark Kane 16

California's CVRP REbate Program

California’s CVRP Rebate Program

PEV Sales Dashboard (source: California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative)

PEV Sales Dashboard (source: California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative)

California Air Resources Board (ARB) changes in the CVRP (California Clean Vehicle Rebate) requirements take effect on March 29, 2016.

The changes bind the value of rebate to income. Separately there are differences between the vehicle types.


    Income cap for higher-income consumers
    Increased rebate levels for low- and moderate-income consumers


To date, CVRP has issued more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,200 vehicles, which on average is $2,120 per vehicle.

From March 29 forward, higher income buyers will be not eligable for the rebate, unless of course they opt for hydrogen fuel cell cars, which are highly promoted, and can also count for highest rebates available ($5,000 to $6,500).

Folks that fit between the 300% of Federal Poverty Limit up to $250,000 will remain at standard level of $2,500 for BEV, $1,500 for PHEV and $5,000 for FCV.

“For an individual, the gross annual income limit is $35,640, and for a household of four, it is $72,900.”

All those who doesn’t exceed 300% of Federal Poverty Limit can count for additional $1,500. So you can get $4,000 for pure electric car (BEV), $3,000 for PHEV and $6,500 for FCV. In case of BEV, combined with $7,500 federal tax credit you can save up to $11,500.

Date: California Air Resources Board (PDF) via CarsDirect

Date: California Air Resources Board (PDF) via CarsDirect

California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project increases incentives for low- and moderate-income drivers

New eligibility requirements start March 29, 2016; include high-income cap

SAN DIEGO – In order to make clean vehicles more accessible to a greater number of California drivers, especially in communities that are highly impacted by air pollution, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) is implementing increased incentive levels for low- and moderate-income consumers and high-income eligibility caps.  The California Air Resources Board approved the changes in June 2015, as directed by the Charge Ahead California Initiative established by Senate Bill 1275 (De León).  They will apply statewide to vehicle purchases or leases effective March 29, 2016.

“This increase in incentives for lower income families will help to ensure that more California drivers, especially those living in communities most impacted by air pollution, can benefit from driving and owning the cleanest vehicles,” Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols said. “And more ultra-clean and zero-emission vehicles on our roads mean cleaner air for all Californians.”

Since 2010, the CVRP has issued more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,200 vehicles, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), which administers the ARB program.  Rebates cover a range of battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles.

For low- and moderate-income consumers, CVRP rebates for all types of eligible light-duty passenger vehicles are being increased by $1,500.  When combined with the $7,500 federal tax credit for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the California rebates provide savings of up to $11,500.  To qualify for the increased rebates, applicants must have household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.  For an individual, the gross annual income limit is $35,640, and for a household of four, it is $72,900.

Higher income consumers will not be eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual income exceeds $250,000 for single tax filers, $340,000 for head of household filers and $500,000 for joint filers.  Income levels will be determined by the amount reported on the applicant’s federal tax return.  The caps do not apply to fuel-cell electric vehicles, which represent less than 1 percent of CVRP’s applications and qualify for rebates of $5,000.

Applicants may be required to provide proof of income.

Additional clean vehicle rebates based on income eligibility are available in disadvantaged communities in the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.  ARB’s Drive Clean website offers a guide for clean vehicle incentives at DriveClean.CA.gov.

For further information on the CVRP, a list of eligible vehicles and rebates, and complete application procedures, visit CleanVehicleRebate.org.

The incentives, and this project, are part of California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities.

Details: California ARB, Center for Sustainable Energy

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16 responses to "California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project Announces New Incentives For Low And Moderate-Income Drivers"

  1. Mark says:

    So… teslas gonna take a giant hit on this.

    1. Rick says:

      I don’t think you need to worry about Tesla buyers.

    2. Jychevyvolt says:

      Why, it’s based on income, not automaker.

      This makes lease super cheap for lower income buyer, who can’t take advantage of $7500 federal credit. $15/month lease on spark ev and 500e. $30 on FFE.

      Someone starting a short term loan program will make a killing. The loan would cover the down payment, license, registration, and sign off on the lease. The buyer pays off the loan with the rebate check.

      1. SJC says:

        They could provide incentives for lower income drivers on previously owned cars, driving a lower polluting more efficient vehicle helps everyone.

        1. Jychevyvolt says:

          Something like this.

          https://www.replaceyourride.com

          1. SJC says:

            Thanks for the link, sort of an EV for Clunkers. The one obvious issue is lower income drivers can NOT afford a new EV. Used LEAFs are selling for $7500 in L.A. that may be more in the price range they can afford.

            1. SparkEV says:

              Cannot afford $13/mo for new SparkEV, yet they can afford $7500 for used Leaf? That makes no sense. If anything, now’s the time for low income to grab all SparkEV they can. At least for 3 years, they’ll have reprieve from having to worry about car maintenance and repair.

    3. Dragon says:

      Tesla Model S qualifies for $2500 rebate in CA. That’s not much compared to the $70k base price. Plus, this article says rebates will remain at $2500 until you earn over $250k a year. Someone earning that much won’t give a squat about a $2500 rebate.

  2. Get Real says:

    Not really:

    “Higher income consumers will not be eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual income exceeds $250,000 for single tax filers, $340,000 for head of household filers and $500,000 for joint filers.”

  3. pjwood1 says:

    2016, the year state EV incentives feel the Bern.

  4. SparkEV says:

    From ev-vin’s lease deals web site, SparkEV with tax/lic included for 3 years is $4464.

    http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/

    Minus $4000 = $464 for 36 months, or $12.89/mo! OMG, I think McDonalds cost more than that.

    1. “Get yur Burger Cars! Red Hot Burger Cars! Just $12.89/mo!

      Actually, pretty sure “$464 for 36 months” means: “$464/Mo for 36 months”

      1. Jychevyvolt says:

        No, it’s $464 out of pocket for 36 months. $13/month for 3 years. We’ll run out of inventory in one week like last year.

      2. SparkEV says:

        JY is correct. It’s less than $13/mo to lease a new SparkEV with DCFC.

        I think lease may need good credit scores and low miles. People with low income and good credit scores and low miles are retirees. It might be public service to let them know about SparkEV lease deal. They’ll save money on gas, save money on car (new car=no repair), save health from not inhaling gas fumes or touching disease ridden pump handle. They’ll also kick butt with SparkEV against their grandkids Corollas or what not.

        1. Jychevyvolt says:

          Don’t put in on slickdeal. I need 4 for family and friends.

  5. Michael Will says:

    It’s perfect for bolt and model 3 purchasers.