Better act fast to get California rebate on a Vectrix

If you live in California and have a hankerin' for some quality electric maxi-scooter action, it's time to grab your checkbook and head for your nearest Vectrix dealership. The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) has been busy dishing out rebates for a select few rides and there is only so much cash left in the kettle.

The "Fueling Alternatives" program lists a small number of natural gas-powered vehicles that qualify for the rebate but apparently the money reserved for those has already run out. The only other eligible vehicle manufacturers left are GEM and Vectrix and, unless you live in a gated community or on a golf course, I would go with the 62 mph-capable Vectrix.

If you live in Northern California, there is a San Francisco-based dealer, British Motor Cars Distributors, who would be happy to take your order and, according to their website, they deliver. San Rafael residents might want to give Marin BMW Motorcycles a ring. For the rest of California, hang tight, help may soon be on the way. More info after the jump.

Press Release:

CCSE Gives Cash Back to Owners of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 25, 2008) - The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) has been chosen by the Air Resources Board (ARB) as the administrator of the Fueling Alternatives statewide program that offers cash rebates to residents who purchase alternative fuel vehicles. The grant funded by the ARB gives up to $5,000 in incentives to Californians, who purchase electric, compressed natural gas and other qualifying cars and motorcycles. Two CCSE program participants will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at the EcoCenter to showcase qualifying vehicles and discuss the benefits of the rebate program. The EcoCenter, located at 4001 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, is the main fueling point in San Diego for alternative fuel vehicles housing ethanol, propane and natural gas pumps, as well as an electric power station. In addition to being an alternative fuel hub, the EcoCenter is a climate change and green transportation education center for school children. Executive Director of the EcoCenter, Judy Bishop will also be available for interviews.

Overall, $1.62 million in funding will be dispensed under the Fueling Alternatives rebate program administered by the California Center for Sustainable Energy. The program is part of $25 million of overall funding that came out of Assembly Bill 1811 -- authored by Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) and passed in 2007 -- which promotes alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicles. The rebates are available on a first come first served basis for qualifying vehicles that are purchased or leased between May 24, 2007 and March 31, 2009. The program has been so successful, however, that the budget for rebates on compressed natural gas vehicles has already been met.

Rebates up to $1,500 are still available for the Vectrix zero emission motorcycle, and between $950 and $1,300 for certain models of the GEM neighborhood electric vehicle. To receive a rebate, vehicles must have emission certification from the ARB, comply with all federal motor vehicle safety standards and meet a minimum manufacturer warranty. For a complete listing of eligible vehicles, go to "CCSE is delighted to be the administrator of this important green transportation initiative. The program fits well with our mission of sustainable energy solutions," said Director of Engineering, Robert Gilleskie.

ARB estimates that there are currently about 25,000 dedicated alternative fuel vehicles in California, collectively saving millions of gallons of gasoline each year while emitting fewer pollutants than conventional internal combustion engines. To find the cleanest cars available on the market today, visit

[Source: California Center for Sustainable Energy via ecogeek]

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