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California Air Resources Board adds another $25 million to expand clean vehicle rebate program

26 April 2014

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) voted to immediately expand the funding and current waiting list for incentive funds that help consumers buy zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Board’s action expanded the current $5-million waiting list, established last month, by an additional $25 million to accommodate expected market growth into the summer.

The move is in response to the growing demand for zero-emission and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles over the past two years. Currently, about 3,500 rebates are being processed each month totaling between $6 million and $7 million. March marked another record-setting month with 4,800 rebates totaling $9.8 million.

Under the program, individuals, nonprofits, government entities and businesses can get up to a $2,500 state rebate. That can be combined with an up to $7,500 federal tax credit and other regional incentives.

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project has exceeded expectations. ARB has issued about $100 million for about 50,000 rebates since the program began in March 2010, and plans to continue supporting the project in the coming years.

Applications are being accepted for rebates while the additional funding for the program is being put in place. Consumers placed on the waiting list will receive their rebates at the end of September. Eligibility criteria and rebate amounts for the current fiscal year (2013-14, which ends June 30) will apply to these rebates.

Funding for the continuation of the program for the coming fiscal year is currently in the governor’s proposed budget. That funding will be allocated pending the Legislature’s passage of the budget and adoption of the annual CVRP spending plan by the ARB in June.

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is administered statewide by the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

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Comments

Given than the CVRP project issued almost $10M in rebates, they have only added $25M to the fund, and they won't be issuing checks until September, it appears that the $25M will run out long before they start issuing checks again.

Let's say March was an anomaly because of the combination of funds running out along with carpool stickers for PHEVs and they only need $5M/month, with $5M already waiting for their check, that still only leaves $20M or 4 months worth. The additional funds will be gone by the end of July at the latest.

Clearly they need to restructure the program unless they plan on adding significantly more money to the fund. I'd start by phasing out rebates for vehicles over $40k with it phased out completely for vehicles over $50k and to base the rebate for PHEVs on EPA rated EV miles with the largest amounts reserved for vehicles that can do 30+ EV miles.

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