In John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," Tom Joad and his family were drawn to California's Central Valley on hopes for a better future. Now, prospective electric vehicle drivers may be drawn there for a better present – in the form of cash.

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is ponying up rebates worth $3,000 to buyers of electric vehicles in an effort to help stem the Valley's pollution problem, the CBS affiliate in Fresno, CA, reported. The rebate is available on top of a $2,500 credit from the state of California in addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit. Add it up and an EV buyer can cut his or her out-of-pocket costs for a new car by $13,000. That brings the cost of an EV like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV to less than $17,000, making it cheaper than a Toyota Corolla, the television station reported. The rebate also brings the payback period – in the form of lower refueling costs – for a car like the Nissan Leaf to about four years.

Earlier this month, the California Center for Sustainable Energy said in a report that the state is home to more than a third of all domestic plug-in vehicles, and with these sorts of rebates, that percentage is likely to grow.

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