California likely to cut electric-vehicle rebates

California's cap-and-trade revenue drop has become a budgetary issue.

View 30 Photos
Is the California dream over for electric-vehicle buyers? The Golden State, which is the country's most populous state and has long been a leader in green-vehicle perks, may have eliminated state-funded rebates for customers who buy electric vehicles, Clean Technica says. The decision was the result of the state's finalization of its upcoming annual budget last week.

California was giving out $2,500 in rebates to buyers of battery-electric vehicles; $1,500 for plug-in hybrids; and $5,000 for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. In addition to those vehicles, rebates for cleaner and greener heavy-duty trucks may also be eliminated.

Granted, the door may not be shut yet. California Gov. Jerry Brown still needs to sign the budget, and the green-minded governor may find another way to extend perks doled out to state buyers of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Part of the problem was that the state's revenue from its "cap-and-trade" program, in which oil refiners acquire emissions credits that are eventually auctioned off, was less than expected.

Earlier this year, the California Air Resources Board said it would start tweaking its plug-in vehicle-rebate system. CARB had earmarked half a billion dollars for "Low Carbon Transportation" efforts through September 2017, including $230 million for the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). California has funded almost $300 million in rebates for about 140,000 vehicles during the past six years. CARB had also unveiled plans to boost clean-vehicle rebates for Californians in the lower-income bracket, while eliminating them for the state's top earners. Specifically, lower earners were to get a rebate boost of $1,500 for eligible vehicles, while individuals with an annual income of $250,000 or joint-filers making at least $500,000 had the rebates on their Teslas — ahem — electric vehicles eliminated.

Related Video:

More Information