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.

If you liked the article, share on:

Topics: california

Comments

Recommended

The 2018 Consumer Electric Show is full of exciting new technology for everyone, including the automotive industry. One of the most anticipated is the unveiling of the Linux-based MBUX that...
by - January 22, 2018
With all the photos Mercedes-Benz has been posting of the new 2019 G-Class, not one of those featured the SUV in a light exterior finish, as they were all in...
by - January 22, 2018
When you first glance at the Rhino GX SUV, the first thing that will come to mind is that the vehicle probably has a military style cabin, with thinly padded...
by - January 22, 2018
The Chinese market will soon be getting the exclusive China-only model, Mercedes-Benz GLC-L, for a premium of 15,000 yuan ($2,300) more than the regular model. The difference is actually quite...
by - January 20, 2018
The Bentley Bentayga is set to participate in the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb that is slated to take place on June 24th in Colorado. The automaker’s motorsport department...
by - January 19, 2018
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