For what seems like the umpteenth time, the California Clean Vehicle Rebate program is out of money. Kinda.

Less three months ago the program was overhauled to "cap for higher-income consumers, and increased rebate levels for low- and moderate-income consumers" (details).  The CVRP rebate for all-electric cars maxes out at $4,000, while plug-in hybrid rebates are capped at $3,000 (fuel cell vehicles at $6,500).

Earlier Funded CVRP Allocations

Earlier Funded CVRP Allocations

It's a shame that when those new low and moderate income customers went to file for those rebates from June the 10th, they found the dreaded "out of cash sign" on website's front page (see above) - all thanks to some political shenanigans (more on that later).

And that payment stop-sign is despite the fact that the money is already present, ear-marked and allocated to keep those rebates issued through September of 2017 (at least some ~$230 million worth).

Regardless, effective for everyone who submitted a rebate application after June 10th, 2016, they will be put on a wait list for a cheque to arrive sometime in the future...should the program be refunded.  Which it will.

This time the wait for the re-funding however may take a bit longer (or it might not), as the hold-up seems to be centered around political wrangling from the Governor over the state’s climate change programs of all things.

The Chevrolet Spark EV had benefited from the new CVRP format over the past 2 months - helping GM sell more than 800 copies overall<em> (some ~293 owners have received a CVRP rebate since it was re-launched in March)</em>

The Chevrolet Spark EV had benefited from the new CVRP format over the past 2 months - helping GM sell more than 800 copies overall (some ~293 owners have received a CVRP rebate since it was re-launched in March)

The office is now holding the money up to...wait for it now...get the California green house gas reduction/cap and trade program extended and funded into the future.

"Some believe the Governor is holding onto the money as an incentive for lawmakers to reach a deal this summer on extending the life of the cap-and-trade program, which is facing legal questions over whether it can keep operating past 2020" - reports the LA Times

The new current state budget, that is just waiting on Governor Brown's signature on Wednesday, has no provisions for paying out vehicles subsidies as it has in the past.   Instead, the Governor is looking to get the climate change/cap and trade law itself (AB 32, which was enacted in 2006) extended past 2020.

CARB (California Air Resources Board) is naturally thrilled with the political dance stalling the process on its program. The LA Times picked up this quote from Dean Florez (former state senator and CARB member), and also from Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air.

“I think it’s ridiculous to play politics with kids’ lungs."

"With the urgency of the climate crisis, we really shouldn’t delay in investing in projects that reduce emissions."

Bottom line?  Keep buying those plug-in vehicles in California, and keep submitting your rebate applications (here), the money is coming.

LA Times, Hat tip to Mark H!