SACRAMENTO - With demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and zero-emission vehicles growing at a record pace in California, the California Air Resources Board today announced that it has put an additional $6 million into the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
Along with another infusion of $4.5 million from the California Energy Commission two weeks ago, the combined $10.5 million is expected to extend the rebate program until next year's funds are available.
"This successful rebate program is helping establish California as the electric vehicle capital of the nation," Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols said. "The program is also helping to clean the air and fight climate change by reducing our use of fossil fuels."
Under the rebate program, individuals, nonprofits, government entities and businesses can get up to a $2,500 state rebate. This can be combined with an up to $7,500 clean vehicle federal tax credit and various other regional incentives.
Demand is currently very strong for zero-emission and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. To date, ARB has issued more than $42 million and is closing in on the 20,000th rebate offered through its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. Between 1,500 and 2,000 clean car rebates are now issued each month, placing California at the forefront of the nation in terms of ultra-clean car sales. Even though California is only 10 percent of the total car market, it now accounts for about 40 percent of all purchases of plug-in electric vehicles nationwide.
The program is also helping to fulfill Governor Brown's Executive Order of March 2012 that directs state government to support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), with a target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on California roadways by 2025.
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is made possible by the 2007 law known as Assembly Bill 118. The bill, designed to spur development and deployment of alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies, will end in 2015. It is currently being considered by the Legislature for reauthorization to allow the successful rebate program, and other clean fuel and clean vehicle programs, to continue to benefit California. AB 118 programs are funded through motor vehicle and vessel fees.
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is funded by the Air Resources Board and administered statewide by the California Center for Sustainable Energy.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.