The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is set to add an additional category to its Hybrid Incentive Voucher Program (HVIP) that awards buyers of zero-emissions light-duty commercial vehicles, including the Ford Transit Connect Electric, a discount of up to $15,000 on their green vehicle purchase.

Starting in November, light-duty zero-emissions commercial vehicles with a GVWR between 5,001 and 8,500 pounds will be eligible for vouchers of up to $15,000 in California. This discount will reportedly be available to all fleets, public or private, that register the zero-emissions vehicles in the state of California. This $15,000 discount, coupled with the federal government's $7,500 tax credit, means that some buyers of the Transit Connect Electric will get a whopping $22,500 off the vehicle's $57,400 price tag.

Vouchers for the light-duty zero-emissions category are valued at $15,000 for a fleet's first vehicle ordered, with $12,000 off all purchases thereafter for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. Proposed vouchers for Fiscal Year 2012 dip to $12,000 for the first three vehicles, $10,000 for the next 27 purchased, $8,000 for vehicles 31-65 and $6,000 for vehicles 66-100.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 5 Months Ago
      Oh, that's how they are getting $57,000 for this vehicle. Just get the taxpayer to foot the bill. What genius's these motor executives are! Good job there are no financial problems in California.
      • 5 Months Ago
      This should help California balance it's budget! Let's say a meager 300 apply for this tax incentive. That's $4.5 million in subsidies! This is why my state income tax here in California is nearly 10%, and likely rising!!
      DaveMart
      • 5 Months Ago
      Ford must know that however hard they play the patriot card no-one will be insane enough to pay them anything remotely comparable to the $57,000 they are asking for this for the Focus EV when you can just go on a waiting list for the Leaf or get a Mitsubishi. Two possibilities suggest themselves: either they reckon that they can get away with a total disconnect between van and passenger vehicle prices, or they are simply going to hoover up as many subsidies as possible at this price, delay the release of the Focus EV as long as possible to avoid making it clear how out of line they are, and then crash the price of the Connect van to bring it more in line. Nissan not bringing our an electric van until 2013 gives them breathing space, so maybe they hope just to hang onto this pricing until then.
      lne937s
      • 5 Months Ago
      $22,500 in incentives is a lot. Renault is selling the Kangoo ZE for 16,990 GBP in the UK. If they sold it here for that price (converted to USD) and got that much in incentives, the cost of the car would come to a little over $4000
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @lne937s
        Plus battery lease. The Connect is something like $20,000 more than the Kangoo ZE.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          I reckon Renault will be flat out producing vans for the European market and will have none to spare to rebadge for the US. Mitsubishi are only planning a very low distance van, too low for the US I would have thought, so you will probably have to wait for 2013 for the Nissan NV200 for a decently priced electric van.
          lne937s
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          The Connect is a little over $30,000 more than the Kangoo ZE ($26,800 converted to USD, before incentives). If we could get the lower-priced electric LCV's from Europe here, combined with those incentives... With a battery lease and electricity comming in less than the cost of fuel consumption for the petrol automatic Connect sold here (even with the lower fuel prices), being able to buy a comparable EV for $4000 would be amazing.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Thanks for your sharing. I also saw it on http://hot-voucher.co.uk/ for discount voucher :)
      • 5 Months Ago
      I believe this is a terrible decision, which specifically chooses a particular "commercial" vehicle and blows through a tremendous amount of public monies. Indeed, if the vehicle is properly used, its cost-of-ownership over its lifetime should be sufficient incentive enough for purchasers who would get a more conventional CARB rebate. CARB should be protested for this targeted gift of public monies.
        Marco Polo
        • 5 Months Ago
        The incentive doesn't "specifically choose a particular commercial vehicle" , any commercial vehicle from any maker, meeting the specifications, qualifies.
      Marco Polo
      • 5 Months Ago
      The $15,000 rebate is for only the first vehicle, it's available for any light commercial EV, not just Ford. If this helps sell light commercial EV's that's great! Although it baffles me why more purpose built EV's are not on the market. I just wish the Ford Transit Connect, was a more thoroughly evolved EV. I have built 38 light delivery EV's, and although the challenge is always how to stop them being overloaded, the actual construction is considerably easier than cars. I imported two PRC built EV Vans. Total disasters! Poor quality dangerous rubbish! A waste of money. However, I am looking forward to fleet testing two Yulon Motors (ROC Taiwan) 1.5 tonne 'cab over' delivery EV. The vehicles are being shipped to different destinations, providing valuable cross referencing. I drove this vehicle around Taipei and up into the mountains. I was really impressed by it's accommodation, load capacity and performance. I was also impressed by the folks at Yulon motors and their enthusiastic commitment to make a success of quality EV auto-manufacture at the Luxgen division. Light Commercial EV's may not be as glamorous as the Leaf and Tesla, but they certainly are meaningful in terms of reducing fuel consumption, pollution and introducing EV's to the general public.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Transit Connect EV is a joke for a heavy duty vehicle. The payload is wimpy and towing is nonexistent. Okay Marco it is only on the first one, that is a good idea, I admire CA but man they will go broke giving all their money to Ford, no wonder the Transit is so over priced, Ford probably knew about these incentives. Marco it does not surprise me Taiwan makes a better heavy EV, it would not take much to beat the Ford Transit van. Who care about glamor, it is utility that counts.
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          The Transit Connect, is an odd vehicle. It a light, not heavy, duty vehicle. (you are confusing it with its big UK brothers). Built in Turkey, then sent out to be fitted with EV components, it arrives back a bit of an orphan. A left over from the days of Ford collaboration with the expensive, but very high quality, Smith conversions. Light commercials are a really competitive business. Profit margins are slim, and sales motivations are based on economics, not emotion. (the man buying the van, is often not the man buying the van). The Ford Transit Connect is not over priced, in the sense that Ford has a large profit margin, it costs that much because Ford is unable to make a large capital commitment to building a specialised commercial EV, with in house batteries etc. The Transit Connect is a basically obsolete concept, (commercially offered conversion) it's been superseded by fully developed mass-produced products. It's really unfortunate for the once mighty Ford to play catch-up, but each year in profit, moves Ford closer to being a viable rival to Toyota, Renault/Nissan, VW, Hyundai and GM. Ford occupies only 6th place in the world automakers. Its also the poorest, with the least resources and no capital reserves. But Ford has survived! Due to the courage of the Ford family and a brilliant CEO, and a dedicated executive team, Ford is on the way back to success. Transit Connect is not a triumph for Ford, but keeps Fords toe in the water until a replacement can be designed and produced. Ford's R&D into battery/ energy storage, is the most advanced of all the auto-manufacturers, and commercialisation is will play a significant role in leap-frogging Ford ahead of its rivals. Ford is letting others spend vast sums acclimatising the market before launching it's EV range. Ford knows that brand loyalty means nothing in the modern world, especially in commercial vehicles. CEO, Michael Bannister reports that Ford Credit is finally back in profit, and rebuilding substantial reserves in preparation for an expansion by Ford . Ford may not be winning every battle, but it's making steady progress. Oh, by the way, Yolon Motors commercial range looks pretty good, very similar to Japanese contemporaries, and very competitively priced.
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Full Californian incentives for vans from the GCG link: $10,000 per vehicle for the first 30 vouchers (the first 3 vehicles are eligible for an additional $2,000) $8,000 per voucher for 31-65 vouchers $6,000 per voucher for 66 to 100 vouchers All this is in addition to the $7,500 Federal money. This may not be an incentive for Ford. It presumably is pure coincidence that they are the only ones offering an EV van for the coming year AFAIK. The Nissan NV200 is probably not coming until 2013.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Better take advantage of these "incentives" while you can. A bankrupt state & country doesn't normally fund this type of excess for long!
      Marco Polo
      • 5 Months Ago
      My question is, if Renault is unavailable, whereare the Toyota, Nissan, VW, GM, Hyundai, Mercedes, Fiat, Dodge, etc EV light commercials? It's all very well disparaging the Connect, but where are the rest?
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I am not disparaging the Connect when I say that at this price it makes no commercial sense at all, and will only be bought if there are extra subsidies as in California or by quasi government organisations. It is also not disparagement to state that they are clearly going the low volume high unit cost route, and have tiny commitment to EV's as against Nissan, or even tiny Mitsubishi. Both of these things are simply statements of fact. As for arguments that the French customers get lower cost of capital and so on, well, so what? No-one except ideologues gives a monkey's whether we move on to more viable forms of transport as the oil runs low due to the workings of allegedly pure capitalism, or through very much impure capitalism in the mould of France and China. The point of capitalism is to put up with wide disparities in wealth in order to inject dynamism into responding to events, and doing things like altering the transport system swiftly and effectively. So far at least Ford has shown little sign of leadership in this, and it is 1-0 to more state directed forms of capitalism which is less focussed on quarterly results . At this rate Ford will still be selling a few hundred Connects when the Nissan NV200 becomes available in the States, perhaps in 2013.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Marco: Do try reading what I actually write instead of substituting another agenda,
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          @DaveMart Goodness what ever inspired this anti-Ford, anti-US tirade? Here I am at my local Nissan dealer to buy an EV van. Hello, I can't ! It doesn't exist! So, for all the huffing and puffing it turns out that nothing exists except Ford. Soooo...what the hell are you on about? Are you really suggesting that socialism will produce a technological revolution? Trabants of the world arise? My question was quite simple, where are the others?
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          @DaveMart Ok, I re-read your reply out of courtesy, but I baffled to see any relevance to the simple question... "where are the Toyota, Nissan, VW, GM, Hyundai, Mercedes, Fiat, Dodge, etc EV light commercials?"
      Guillaume Séguin
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's time for Renault to do some badge engineering and sell some Nissan Kangoo (Kubistar) stateside, include the battery cost in the price and off you go! Cheap EVs for everyone* !! *in CA
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