California overhauls incentive program for electric vehicles, rich people beware

Article by Christian A., on September 1, 2014

The state of California is revamping its incentive program as a response to criticism that its rebates sometimes serves as a windfall for the rich. The California Legislature recently passed a bill phasing out EV rebates for wealthy buyers. The bill also offers new incentives for low-income car owners who scrap their cars and instead use public transit or join a car-sharing service.

Max Baumhefner, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, remarked that the income cap is meant to make sure that the program is “in the black while not undermining progress” toward the California’s EV goals.

Around a third of the EVs sold in the United States are sold in California, where the about 100,000 EV owners receive a few incentives like the use of carpool lanes. Aside from the legislation, large carmakers also have to deal to stiffer regulations requiring a certain percentage of the vehicles they sell to be zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs.

California has offered for years a $2,500 rebate for buyers of EVs like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S and a $1,500 rebate for customers of plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt are eligible for a $1,500 rebate.

These credits were subject of complaints in the state due to the high demand for the Tesla Model S, which carries a starting price of $72,240, including shipping before the $7,500 federal tax credit and the $2,500 California rebate.

The popularity of the Model S has vexed state legislators, who say that the rebate only benefits those wealthy customers who would have purchased the EV even without the incentives. Likewise, carmakers selling EVs have not opposed California’s change of heart towards these units.

Diarmuid O'Connell, vice president for business development at Tesla, remarked to the Los Angeles Times that it is a “fair argument” that the rich needs less rebates than others.

The bill, which is waiting to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, directs the California Air Resources Board to concoct regulations by the end of June 2015 that sets the max income level for eligible households.

Topics: california

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

The Europe-bound WRC hatch developed by Toyota and Gazoo Racing team will be limited to just 400 examples as reported by AutoCar this week. Otherwise known as Gazoo Racing Masters...
by - July 21, 2017
Even cops get excited when they’re assigned to drive the best cars in the market. In Austria, police officers drive around in a Porsche 911 Carrera while in Milan, authorities...
by - July 21, 2017
Subaru has already announced that the all new Impreza will be out by fall this year. The 2018 model year not only gets a number of new upgrades, but it...
by - July 21, 2017
Do you ever wonder what challenges automakers have in selling limited edition cars? It’s different for each company but it can get stressful if the demand is high instead of...
by - July 21, 2017
Alpine is said to be developing an SUV which is believed to be the Porsche Macan’s closest rival. According to AutoExpress, the newly revived performance brand has been looking to...
by - July 20, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries