Tomorrow Investor

California Working to Give Lower-income Motorists Opportunity to Own EVs


In order to equalize the playing field for electric vehicle (EV) buyers and to further advance its adoption of EVs as standard transportation, the state of California is doing away with the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project which has been in place since 2010. 

A highly popular initiative, the rebate program gained notoriety for lacking funds and for putting too many people on waitlists. As an alternative to this program, the state government aims to provide EV subsidies to potential car buyers from lower income brackets.

Paradigm Shift

While experts point out how the old program helped push the Californian transition to EVs, it is not as useful as it was in light of the growing mainstream production and distribution of EVs.

According to California Air Resources Board (CARB) spokesperson David Clegern, the new program tentatively referred to as Clean Cars 4 All is not meant to remove options for one sector in favor of another. Instead, it is meant to help those who cannot afford to buy a clean-energy vehicle under ordinary circumstances to obtain one, and to expand California’s fleet of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs.)

In doing so, the state government will be able to democratize the EV sector through better-considered subsidies.

A More Restrictive Approach

With the current rebate project, those who qualify for rebates include individuals who earn up to $135,000 and those with a joint income of up to $200,000. The existing program also offers a rebate of $2,000 for high-income households and $7,500 for low-income households per purchase of an EV.

Under the CARB’s new subsidy scheme, citizens of the state earning over 300% of the federal poverty level are no longer qualified for state subsidies for the purchase of EVs come 2024 when the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project ends. At present, that level stands at $43,740 for individual workers and $90,000 for families with at least four members. The latter is, likewise, dependent on the size of the household.

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