California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to be made more accessible

Posted on 16 Mar 2016 by Tim Brown

In order to make low carbon vehicles more accessible to a greater number of Californian drivers, especially in communities that are highly impacted by air pollution, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is implementing increased incentive levels for low- and moderate-income consumers.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved the changes to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) in June 2015, as directed by the Charge Ahead California Initiative established by Senate Bill 1275 (De León). They will apply statewide to vehicle purchases or leases effective on March 29, 2016.

Since 2010, the CVRP has issued over $291 million in rebates for more than 137,200 vehicles, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), which administers the ARB program. Rebates cover a range of battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles.

For low- and moderate-income consumers, CVRP rebates for all types of eligible light-duty passenger vehicles are being increased by $1,500. When combined with the $7,500 federal tax credit for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the California rebates provide savings up to $11,500. To qualify for the increased rebates, applicants must have household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For an individual, the gross annual income limit is $35,640, and for a household of four, it is $72,900.

Higher income consumers can access the CVRP rebates if their gross annual income is less than $250,000 for single tax filers, $340,000 for head of household filers and $500,000 for joint filers. Income levels will be determined by the amount reported on the applicant’s federal tax return. The caps do not apply to fuel-cell electric vehicles, which qualify for rebates of $5,000.

For further information on the CVRP, a list of eligible vehicles and rebates, and complete application procedures, visit

The incentives are part of California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to Californian communities.