California Energy Commission Extends Clean Vehicle Rebates in California

By · June 07, 2011

Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Today the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Air Resources Board (ARB) officially finalized an agreement that will make many EV early adopters in California smile. The interagency agreement, which was publicly announced on Plug In Cars in January, puts an extra $2 million dollars in the state rebate program, known as the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). While the CVRP is open to a range of electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles, this extra boost in funding from the CEC is reserved for highway capable vehicles that can carry four or more passengers. So this essentially is open to three eligible vehicles in the program, the Nissan LEAF, Honda Clarity and the Ford Transit Connect Electric.

ARB Heavily Investing in EVs in 2011-2012

I know that some readers were not too pleased with the conditions associated with the additional CEC funding for 2010-2011, but I do have some good news. In 2011-2012 the CVRP will be getting a significant boost in project funding. ARB will finalize the exact number in July; however staff has recommended an allocation between $12 and $17 million dollars, which roughly translates to rebates for up to 6000 vehicles. Last year ARB dedicated $5 million dollars to the program, which means next year, we will have three times the amount of funding for the electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle rebates in California. But, the three-fold increase in funding for the CVRP is not the only thing changing in 2011-2012.

Changes in the Rebate Amount

In an effort to provide more rebates for more consumers, ARB is increasing the available funding and reducing the rebate amounts for 2011-2012. Once 2010-2011 program funds are exhausted (including additional funds from the CEC) rebate amounts will be restructured according to the proposed schedule in the table below. Please note that rebate amounts in the table reflect the maximum rebate amount. In some cases rebate amounts may be lower.

Rebate Amounts

What Happens When CVRP Funding for 2011 Runs Out?

Both CCSE and the Air Resources Board understand that the CVRP rebate is a major factor in many California residents and businesses decision to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) or a fuel cell vehicle (FCV). While close to 2000 PEVs and FCVs will be rebated in the first two years of the program, this just scratches the surface of demand in California. As a result the CVRP may be oversubscribed before next year's (FY 2011-2012) funds are allocated sometime in September.

If the program does run out of money before these funds are allocated, CCSE will generate a waiting list for residents and businesses who apply to the CVRP. Waiting list applicants will receive a rebate based on two factors, their position on the list and the approval of new funding. It is important to note that rebates will be issued to waiting list applicants before new individuals who apply. Both groups of consumers, those that have been on a waiting list and those that are new, will be subject to the provisions of the 2011-2012 CVRP guidelines. This means, if you are on the waiting list or a consumer applying once 2010-2011 funds have been exhausted, you will be getting the restructured rebate amount reflected in the table above.

For more information on the CVRP, like real-time tracking of program funding, rebates by vehicle type or program updates, visit

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