California to reduce EV rebates, but drops plan for $60k price cap

Since its launch in 2010, California’s Zero Emission Vehicle rebate program has provided cash incentives to thousands of EV buyers in the Golden State. In fact, it’s proven so popular that the California Air Resources Board seems to be looking for ways to make the available funding go farther.

CARB is now working on its 2014-2015 funding plan for the program. The proposed plan, which goes before the board for consideration June 26, will reduce the state rebate from $2,500 to $2,000 per vehicle.

Another controversial proposed change, slapping a $60,000 cap on the price of EVs that would qualify for the rebate, has apparently been dropped.

As a practical matter, the proposed cap would have singled out Tesla’s Model S, the only over-60k EV that sells in any substantial volume. While it’s arguably true that few Tesla buyers would base their decisions on a measly couple of grand, Tesla fans and much of the EV press were up in arms, seeing the proposal as an uncalled-for slap in the face to a company that single-handedly sparked the EV renaissance, and that employs thousands of people in California.

After initially excluding California as a site for its Gigafactory, Tesla recently said that the state is back in the running. Could that have had anything to do with CARB’s decision to drop the anti-Tesla rebate cap?

Meanwhile, the Charge Ahead California Initiative has cleared the Senate’s Environmental Quality committee with bipartisan support, and is one step closer to becoming law.

Charge Ahead California aims to deploy at least one million EVs in the state within the next ten years. Specific provisions include establishing a long-term plan for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, expanding the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, and creating new policies to encourage electric car sharing, deployment of charging infrastructure in multi-unit dwellings, and more access to EV financing options.

 

Source: Silicon Beat
Image: Joseph Thornton/Flickr