Rebates Issued for Plug-In Hybrids On Rise in California

By · December 13, 2012

The Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego, which manages California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, yesterday announced availability of its database about the adoption and use of clean vehicles in California, which account for nearly 25 percent of EV sales nationwide. The database reveals that Californian buyers have so far received 14,199 rebates—and that in the past three months, the state is giving twice as many plug-in hybrid rebates as those being awarded to zero emission vehicles.

From September through November, California issued 2,959 rebates to plug-in hybrids, but only 1,482 rebates to ZEVs, such as the Nissan LEAF.

CVRP rebate chart

CVRP rebates broken down by vehicle type and on a monthly basis.

As Green Car Congress reported, approximately 2,300 Chevy Volts were not eligible for the rebate until February 2012, so these vehicles are not reflected in the database. The statistics currently indicates that a total of 14,199 rebates were issued—with 7,404 (or 52%) going to ZEVs, including battery electric cars; and 6,542 (or 46%) issued to plug-in hybrids. Ninety-three percent of all rebates were awarded to private individuals.

For the first few months of the program, buyers of electric cars like the Nissan LEAF were awarded $5,000—but that rebate was reduced to $2,500 after FY 2010-2011 funds were exhausted. Plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Ford C-Max Energi are eligible for $1,500 rebates. So far, the program has distributed $22,554,117 for zero emission vehicles, and $9,800,400 for plug-in hybrids.

With more than $8.5 million remaining in the program for FY 2012-2013, it appears there is sufficient funding to sustain the program—but the more compelling incentive for many California motorists is the coveted HOV stickers that allow solo drivers to travel in the carpool lanes.

While there are no limits on the number of white stickers issued to pure EVs, the total allotment of green stickers for owners of plug-ins is 40,000, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Given the current rate of plug-in hybrid rebates—about 1,000 per month—and the fact that California issued about 5,600 green stickers through October, this perk could end by late 2014 or early 2015. The rate of plug-in hybrid sales is expected to increase as Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, and others launch or expand their plug-in hybrid offerings.


· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

The HOV sticker program is scheduled to end by 2015. So, they might NOT run out of the sticker before they reach the expiration anyway...

Also, the plugin Accord aren't available until late 2013, The C-Max Energi aren't available until early 2013...

So, it will take a bit of times before those 40,000 stickers are gone. If I am a potential buyer, I would worry about the $1,500 first.

· Jesse Gurr (not verified) · 5 years ago

The C-Max Energi is available now. I believe it sold almost 1400 vehicles in November. It is the Fusion Energi that is due out in early 2013.

· Spec (not verified) · 5 years ago

The number of PHEVs available is on the rise as well. What a coincidence!

First there was just the Volt. Then came the Karma. Then the plug-in Prius. The C-Max Energi just got added.

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Jesse Gurr,

You are right. My mistake. It should have been Fusion Energi.

Even if all the Plugin sales reach 2,000 unit per month IN CALIFORNIA, we still have over 17 months of sales left.

That would put us around March 2014 before we run out of green HOV sticker. At that point, I don't think the sticker is all that valuable since it schedules to expire in 2015. People don't just buy a car for 8 months of HOV access....

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