California EV rebate demand exceeds CVRP funding; rebates have gone to nearly 65% of all California EV owners
In response to strong demand for electric vehicles, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) expects rebate funds for the statewide Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) to be exhausted within 30 days.
Electric vehicles (EVs) account for nearly 8% of all light-duty vehicles sold in California. More than 145,000 EVs were sold in California in 2020 with a majority of sales taking place in the latter half of the year. Through the first quarter of 2021, CVRP rebate applications have already exceeded levels seen in early 2020, with substantially higher participation by low- and moderate-income consumers.
This growing interest has led to a quicker draw on available funds through CVRP than anticipated. Existing funding for both standard and increased rebates is projected to be fully reserved in the coming weeks.
A waitlist will be established for applications and applicants will receive a rebate contingent on funding appropriated through the legislative budget process. There are additional opportunities throughout the state that consumers can take advantage of, including the Clean Fuel Reward, the Clean Air Vehicle Decal, and various local incentives offered by air districts and local governments.
Almost two-thirds of current EV owners have taken advantage of this program, and it’s a key driver of the EV market.—CARB Executive Officer Richard W. Corey
Created in 2010, CVRP has played a key role in supporting the deployment of EVs in California, which leads the nation in EV adoption. Nearly 65% of all California EV owners have received a CVRP incentive. The project has issued moe than $926 million to state residents for more than 405,750 new EVs.
Since 2016, when the project instituted caps for higher-income applicants and created increased rebates for lower income-qualified consumers, 34% of rebate funding, or $182.9 million, has gone to lower-income applicants and those living in disadvantaged communities. The percentage grew to 38% last year.
As the end of current funding draws closer, information about CVRP’s waitlist will be posted on the CVRP website. Additionally, a public work group meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on 16 April 2021 to discuss next steps.
There are other related programs that also support consumers considering purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle. The California Clean Fuel Reward program offers all EV purchasers up to $1,500 off the vehicle cost at the point of sale. CARB offers additional EV purchase incentive programs for lower-income consumers including Clean Cars 4 All, which offers up to $9,500 for scrapping an older car and replacing it with an EV, and the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, which offers grants of up to $5,000 to pay for a hybrid electric vehicle or plug-in EV and access to affordable financing.
Clean Cars 4 All is available in participating air districts, which include the South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. Air districts are expected to exhaust their existing Clean Cars 4 All funding by July 2021.