There's some good news (finally!) for the Californians among us who want to drive Electric Vehicles in 2020!
As you may have already heard, California has created a “Clean Fuel Rewards” program, which basically rewards Californian residents up to $1,500 when they buy or lease new electric vehicles with a battery capacity greater than 5kwh. If you’re a resident there, then we say that now is the perfect time to switch over to the electric side; whether it be that new car you’ve been thinking of, or the mid-life crisis motorcycle you've started eyeing up.
While incentives are great and all, admittedly they can be quite confusing to wrap your head around. There are various incentives in different areas in Cali, and you have to file separately for them. On the bright side however, it's all upfront and requires no paperwork - what a bonus!
SCE has reached out to clarify that their $1k rebate does not stack with the new $1,500 incentive, and other utility incentives might not either. While CARB said that both incentives can be used on the same car, SCE itself doesn’t allow customers to take both incentives, so you'll have to check with your individual utility to see if their programs stack.
There are also some more-local rebate programs available, such as a $500 rebate in the City of Riverside and up to $3,000 in the San Joaquin Valley, so the total might be even higher than $13,500 in some circumstances. And on top of all that, there are still other incentives available for electricity rates (check with your utility for off-peak or EV charging rates), charger installation, additional financing incentives for low-income customers, and the ever-coveted carpool lane access.
Here's an interesting hack for example, a low to moderate income EV customer who purchases a non-Tesla or GM vehicle would be able to qualify for up to $13,500 in state and federal incentives before the end of the year. Amounts for each vehicle are listed on the Clean Fuel Reward Program’s eligible vehicles list.
So with this being said, it could prove difficult to qualify for the full federal and low income credit with your purchased vehicle of choice. There is a way to get around this though - a low income customer can lease a car, and the lessor will take advantage of the full federal tax credit, passing those savings on in lower lease rates. Its sort of a win / win really!
If you’re interested in doing “your part” for the planet and cushioning your pockets with a little bit of cash in the process then go take a look and see if you can start 2021 with a shiny new electric vehicle at a discount...
Now you know more about Californian incentives for electric vehicles, learn more about EV's, E-Bikes, energy efficiency and how to reduce the carbon footprint of transport choices on the following pages and in the EcoHome Green Building Guide.
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