California Approves $133 Million In New Clean Vehicle Rebate Funding


Under The New CVRP Program, The Unemployed Person In San Francisco Can Now Get A $3,000 Rebate Off The 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt In San Francisco



Right before the buzzer, California’s state legislature approved additional funding for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

As SF Gate reports:

“The state will invest millions of dollars into a popular program that gives drivers rebates for buying clean energy cars in California under a $900 million deal…”

“The deal includes $133 million for the clean energy vehicle program, which is currently out of money and has a waiting list. Under the deal, the program will lower the cap on how much a person can earn and still qualify for the rebates following criticism that the state was essentially subsidizing wealthy people buying expensive Teslas.”

So, there’s more money available, but not for very wealthy individuals. The new guidelines states that an annual income cap of $300,000 on joint filers and $150,000 on single filers will go into effect on November 1. Previous caps were $500,000 joint and $250,000 single.

Rebates per vehicle range from $900 (electric motorcycle) to $5,000 (hydrogen fuel cell vehicle). Plug-in vehicle rebates are in the middle of the pack.

As part of the package, there’s an $80 million program in place for “drivers who turn in high-emission vehicles that can’t pass a smog check, with those additional rebates ranging from $5,500 to $9,500, depending on the person’s income. The larger rebates would go to consumers who turn in a high-emission vehicle and replace it with a low-emission one,” according to SF Gate.

Source: SF Gate

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32 Comments on "California Approves $133 Million In New Clean Vehicle Rebate Funding"

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a good idea but buying high pollution cars can backfire. Cars that fail should also no be included. They should be junked. Also fuel (fool) cell money is not helping anyone.

PowerCell Sweden has the go ahead from the Chinese auto manufactures to ramp up their REX range extenders for EV’s. Not quite here yet in California. I imagine a future BMW i 3 REX (“fool cell” version) with 114mi. (33kWh) electric range and unlimited hydrogen extended miles. The Califonia Hydrogen Highway is going to help this type of multi fuel vehicle be clean and green if we can get/mandate the Fossil Fuel companies to source hydrogen from renewables. I am holding out hope for renewable hydrogen use for our California Interstate Network!

Wow, unlimited range with hydrogen? So you can drive continuously for years without having to stop and refill? Hydrogen technology has really come a long way recently!

PowerCell reforms for a PEM, make the fuel bio synthetic renewable diesel available from Neste at Propel for more CO2 neutral.

William said:

“The Califonia Hydrogen Highway is going to help this type of multi fuel vehicle be clean and green…”

Hydrogen powered cars are not going to help with anything. Not only is that fuel much too expensive to ever compete with any practical fuel, or with using electricity to charge batteries, it’s actually more polluting on a well-to-wheel basis than using gasoline or diesel.

“If only the world weren’t governed by the unfair and cruel laws of thermodynamics and economics, the hydrogen economy could rule the world.” –- HVACman, comment at, July 8, 2015

Mandating that H2 facilities use renewables will increase the cost of H2 beyond what is already at least twice the price of gasoline. But that’s okay, because absolutely NO ONE will want to pay the price for a car and fuel that is far more expensive than the one in their driveway.

Fuel cell cars are a dream that has already come and gone.

Electrolyze with renewable power contracts then sell the oxygen, the hydrogen will be affordable.

“Cars that fail should also not be included. They should be junked.”

As the article notes, high pollution cars will be “turned in.” That means junked.

Looks like a good move for CA. A good portion of the people that will exceed the new limits already have a Tesla, anyway. 😉
Are they going to allocate more HOV stickers? I thought they were just about gone.

There’s no limit on HOV stickers for BEV and Nat gas and few others (white stickers). PH stickers ran out months ago, unlikely to come back any time soon (green stickers).

I am a Volt guy so I paid more attention to the Green stickers. Probably just as well that they run out before the HOV lanes get totally packed with sticker cars. Besides, I live in Virginia so they wouldn’t affect me anyway.
I do like to see a lot of Volts sold, though.

Not everyone who can afford it wants a Tesla (S or X). I personally have no desire for a car that large. A 3 series Bimmer is the right size for all my needs. The Model 3 might be attractive to me, if and when it is available.

SB838 passed the legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature. It removes the cap on green HOV stickers.

Specifically, both green and white stickers now have no cap, but still are set to expire on January 1, 2019.

Very confusing about CA green HOV stickers: are they stopped or now re-started? Somebody please explain.

ev-vin shows Dublin Chevy having $29/mo (yes, twenty nine dollars) + $2995. Since $2500 or $4000 will cover due at sign, one could be driving a new SparkEV for $29/mo, or basically free and then some for low income! How low can this go?

ev-vin link below. Scroll down to SparkEV section and Dublin Chevy. Crazy deal!

They really should spend this money on public transit like buses and building new streetcar lines. Then buy people who are making 80,000 cookies a year new cars.

Used EV sales numbers show that (excluding the Tesla Model S) that these tax incentives largely get passed on to second buyers of used EV’s.

So if you hate the idea of some rich guy getting a big gubbermint handout, go buy his EV from him and capture that $$$$ for yourself.

Meanwhile, enjoy the cleaner air that EV’s provide in dense urban areas because OTHER PEOPLE spent their money to buy brand new EV’s.

The reality is that poor people don’t buy brand new cars. The median new car buyer makes 70K/yr. Any plan to sell more new EV’s that excludes people in that wage range simply ignores the reality of who can afford to buy new cars (gas or EV) in the first place.

$900 million? I personally think we have reached the limit of straight dumb subsidies. That is a whole heap of money.

Considering that 21,000 people die around a decade prematurely due to air pollution in California, a 900 Million dollar multi-year project that will be a fraction of 1 percent of the California State budget doesn’t sound that crazy to me.

“In a state-by-state analysis, the researchers found that California suffers the worst health impacts from air pollution, with about 21,000 early deaths annually”

On top of those deaths, Poor air quality costs $28 Billion dollars annually in total economic losses in California, of which approx 200 Million is direct medical costs.

If we invest money today in reducing the negative impacts of pollution, we gain the cost savings every year, making investment in clear air a very high ROI investment in California’s future, which have to potential of saving hundreds of billions over the long term.

So while your knee-jerk gut response to seeing large numbers being invested in clean air might be to do nothing instead, when you look at the context the costs of doing nothing are much, much more expensive.

If it were about air quality, the rules would not be increasingly based upon incomes and car prices. California, like other states, also has a big blind eye when it comes to natural gas. It has a long, long way to go with a CO2 habbit, one that remains near a whopping 400 million tons per year. More than 1% of annual planetary AGW release.

I drove by SONGS nuclear station a couple days ago. All quiet, while the gas plants hum right along. The place sure does love its cars, though.

I’m not suggesting that what CA or other states in the USA are doing is a bad thing just that it is a massively expensive thing. My feeling is that with quite a few models available and sales going up that it is time to change tactics. There are a lot of models of ev’s and PHEV’s above $30k why not add a $1000 tax on every new car sold above $30k with no plug? Or banning ice vehicles from city centres on high pollution days? Or limiting license plates for ice vehicles. I know carb has all sorts of mechanisms associated with it but right now it seems like too much carrot and not enough stick.

As you very eloquently point out there is plenty of justification for getting very heavy handed with pollution in CA.

Chris — Those alternatives are indeed interesting to contemplate. But the tax on ICE vehicles doesn’t actually directly put more EV’s on the road. The vast majority of car buyers would simply finance the tax and buy the same ICE car, or just buy the same ICE car without NAV or without an expensive paint job or wheel option. Since it isn’t tied directly to new EV sales, it will just become a massive political football. It is better to temporarily support the launch of EV’s directly, in an effort to get them to the point where they compete directly with ICE vehicles on price. That way they don’t need as much financial support in the future. The ban on ICE vehicles in city centers is another example of indirectly trying to get people to buy EV’s. But the carrot method of offering HOV access is much more effective for multiple reasons. First off, a ban punishes poor people who can’t afford an EV. Second off, the HOV incentive specifically targets the people who spend the most time driving (commuters). While a ban on city streets unfairly impacts the people who live close to their jobs, and would otherwise drive… Read more »

I always struggle with debates relating to taxation and people’s willingness to accept a new tax. To my simple mind, if pollution from cars cost CA $28 billion in additional healthcare costs then the drivers of those cars should be taxed to pay those costs. In any progressive tax system the burden should be higher for those that can afford it which would be the new car buyers. I also don’t think how many EVs are on the road is a good metric for measuring success, reducing air pollution is success if that means increased use of public transport or people living closer to their work place then that’s a good thing.

All of my opinions should be taken as just that, opinions. I don’t pay tax or live in CA, how Californians run their state is completely up to them. I also have a good track record of underestimating or over estimating the effect of taxation largely because people do completely irrational things to avoid tax.

Punishment taxes only work when there is a reasonable alternative that is readily available to all, that is a cost effective alternative to paying the tax. It is a chicken vs. egg problem. For car buyers to buy EV’s as a cost effective alternative to paying a punishment tax, there first needs to be a wide variety of competitively priced EV’s and PHEV’s for sale on the market. That can’t happen until car makers build and sell those cars at competitive prices. So you need something like the ZEV program to force them to start building zero tailpipe emissions cars, and provide tax incentives to make them affordable at this early stage of development. Then once they “cross the canyon” and become a widely available and cost effective alternative, then a punishment tax would actually work to actually cut pollution, vs. just forcing people to pay for their pollution. I understand the concept of making people pay for their pollution. But that doesn’t actually directly stop them from polluting in the first place. And CARB is more interested in actually stopping pollution, vs. just making people pay for their pollution and allowing them to continue to pollute. These are all… Read more »

Great news!

Here’s hoping that all those taxpayer dollars will go to support PEVs (Plug-in EVs), and none to support “fool cell” cars.

When will the details on the credit amount based on income be posted.

“The new guidelines states that an annual income cap of $300,000 on joint filers and $150,000 on single filers will go into effect on November 1. Previous caps were $500,000 joint and $250,000 single.”

If you make more than that, you get nothing.

Let’s hope they don’t run out of funds, *again*. They have a waiting list from June 10th to take care of, the Bolt is due out soon, and I don’t think that $133 million is *that* much more than last year’s funding, which of course ran out before its time (fiscal year) was up.

Between 10K and 15K EV are sold a month, roughly half in CA; let’s assume 6K, and each taking $2.5K on average. That’s $15M/mo on average. At that rate, $133M would run out in less than 9 months.

Given that there’s 3 months of waiting list, it would run out 6 months from now, or by Mar. 2017. If there’s significant Bolt sales in CA, it could run out even sooner.

Question is, will they renew it next year?

I am sure the taxpayers are loving it, especially the ones who don’t drive.

Does California still actually need it, is the better question?

This should answer your question:

I don’t think that link goes to where you think it goes….