California's income-based EV rebates will cost $230 million through September 2017

California's wealthiest people will get shut out of government's green-car funding.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is changing the way it will hand out plug-in vehicle rebates. The state is moving away from a one-size-fits-all program to one that takes EV buyer income levels into account. As it prepares for the change, CARB is earmarking a half-billion dollars for the "Low Carbon Transportation" efforts through September 2017. That total includes $ 230 million for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), including $55 million for now through this upcoming September (when the 2015-16 fiscal year ends,) and $175 million for the following 12 months. The state has funded more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,000 vehicles since 2010, Electrek says, citing the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE).

As it stands now, California offers rebates worth $2,500 for battery-electric vehicles, $1,500 for plug-in hybrids, $5,000 for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and $900 for zero-emission motorcycles. Next month, though, rebates for lower-income Californians jump to $4,000 for electric vehicles, $3,000 for plug-in hybrids, and $6,500 for fuel-cell vehicles. Meanwhile, the wealthier set (i.e., individuals who earn more than $250,000, or joint filer with income of more than $500,000) get shut out of those plug-in vehicle rebates, notes Green Car Congress.The shift of rebates more towards the people who can use them the most is a culmination of the efforts of California State Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), who's been pushing for such a shift in resources since at least 2014.

For those with some time on their hands and coffee in their cups, CARB's 81-page document outlining next week's workshop can be found here.

Related Video:

Electric Vehicle Sales Rose 23% Last Year in the U.S.

Share This Photo X