Saturday, September 17, 2016

California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) Gets Funding for 2016-17!

The California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program encourages residents of the state to drive zero-emission or plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles by providing cash rebates of up to $2,500 for EVs (and up to $5,000 for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles). 

In June of 2016, funding for the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program stalled as the State of California failed to resolve its budget. CVRP applicants were informed that they would be placed on a waitlist, and if the state eventually approved funding, checks would be issued to waitlisted applicants in chronological order.

On September 14, 2016, California lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 1613, which provides $133 million in new funding to cover waitlisted CVRP applications and applications made during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Checks will begin to be issued immediately to waitlisted applicants, according to a CVRP representative I spoke to yesterday at AltCar Expo

AB-1613 will also introduce income cap restrictions on CVRP applicants, apparently in response to complaints that CVRP funds were being inequitably sapped by high-income households purchasing Tesla Model S and Model X products, thus depriving low- and middle-income families from participation (which was particularly pointed when the program actually ran out of funding). Effective starting November 2016, CVRP rebates will only be available to filers with joint income under $300,000 and individual filers with incomes under $150K.  

$80 million of the newly approved California budget will be directed toward the new Plus-up Program, which provides rebates of $5,000 to $9,500 (an additional $2,500 rebate is available to purchasers of new eligible zero-emission vehicles - California's incentive to put more EVs into the ecosystem) to lower-income applicants who turn in higher-polluting vehicles (over 8 years old, which must then be scrapped) and purchase low- and zero-emissions replacement vehicles. Eligible participants choosing not to replace their vehicle can opt for a mass-transit voucher worth $2,500 to $4,500, depending upon income level. 

Funds for AB-1613 are generated by cap-and-trade revenue, wherein the State of California penalizes corporate entities for exceeding greenhouse gas quotas, and purposes those funds for pollution-reducing projects such as the CVRP.

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