I Kept Track of Every Electric Car Incentive (and Rebate) in California. Here's What I've Found
California is at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution. In fact, California has more electric vehicles than any other state in America. So it's no surprise that California also offers some of the best incentives for buying an electric car or converting your current vehicle to an electric one. The following are my top picks for EV incentives:
Electric Vehicle Carpool Lane Access
Electric vehicle carpool lane access is not available for every electric vehicle in California, but it does exist. In order to qualify for this benefit, the driver must be driving a fully electric car with at least two passengers. The carpool lane is designated for vehicles that carry two or more people and can be accessed by solo drivers only if they are traveling during off-peak traffic hours (2:00 am – 5:00 am). Additionally, this law is not available on all highways or in all areas of the state.
Federal Electric Vehicle Rebate Program
The federal government has a program to reduce the cost of electric vehicles by up to $7,500. The program is not available in all states, but it is available in California. The program will be funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
The federal government is currently encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles by providing a tax credit to qualifying consumers. The program is not available in all states but it is available in California. The state has also set up its own rebate program, which provides an additional $2,500 for EVs.
Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) is a rebate program for low-income families who want to purchase a new electric vehicle. It's administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
If you have a household income of less than $150,000 and if you live in California, you could get up to $2,500 toward purchasing an eligible new or used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or battery-electric car.
The rebate amount varies depending on the model of your vehicle, its battery capacity, and whether it’s a plug-in hybrid or fully electric car.
Hyundai Kona Electric Incentive
The Hyundai Kona Electric Incentive provides a $10,000 cash rebate to new and current owners of Kona Electric.
The Hyundai Kona Electric Rebate is also available for California residents who lease or finance the car. If you plan on buying the vehicle outright, but want to purchase from a dealership rather than directly from Hyundai, check out whether your local dealer has any offers on top of what’s listed here.
Finally, if you choose this model as your next family car or commuter vehicle and decide to get it through a lease instead of financing it (and owning it), keep in mind that there are additional incentives available through Hyundai’s Lease Loyalty Program.
Federal Tax Credit for Energy-Efficient Appliances / Windows
The federal tax credit for energy-efficient appliances and windows was extended through 2021. The credit is 30% of the cost of the appliance or window, with no cap on how much it can be worth. It covers solar panels, heat pumps, water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioners.
The credit is available for all new residential energy-efficient products installed in your home. It’s not just for homeowners, either. The credit applies to renters, too.
San Diego Utility EV Incentive Program
In California, you can take advantage of this program if you're a residential customer of San Diego Gas & Electric. You'll receive a $500 rebate and a $100 discount on your electric utility bill. All you have to do is sign up for the program online!
To be eligible for these incentives, your vehicle must be registered in California and must be certified by the California Air Resources Board as having zero tailpipe emissions - a valid smog check inspection.
There are many electric vehicle incentives in California, including carpool lane access, cash rebates, and utility discounts
There are many electric vehicle incentives in California, including carpool lane access, cash rebates and utility discounts. The following is a list of all the incentives available to help you purchase an electric or hybrid car.
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) provides up to $5,000 in state rebate funds towards the purchase or lease of eligible new and used zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Eligible vehicles include battery electric cars such as Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf; plug-in hybrids like Chevrolet Volt; fuel cell hydrogen cars like Toyota Mirai; hybrid plug-in vehicles such as Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The CVRP states that it is funded by proceeds from California's cap‑and‑trade program auctions through 2020 and will pay out over $400 million dollars between 2016–2025.
I hope this guide has helped you to understand what incentives are available in California and how you can get them. If you're looking for more information on electric cars or battery storage, check out some of our other articles on the subject below.