Outcomes and Results for Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)
Although no specific set aside for increased rebates for low-income consumers was mentioned in the Budget Act of 2021, last year staff estimated that at least 50 percent of the FY 2021-22 CVRP funding allocation would be used for increased rebates and the remainder used for standard and fleet rebates. Staff is updating this estimate based on the changes proposed over the next year that aim to narrow the program’s focus to middle- and lower-income EV buyers. With this framing, staff estimate that half of the remaining $334 million in CVRP funding, or $167 million, will be used for standard rebates which would fund about 75,946 rebates and provide over 584,000 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent GHG emission reductions. The funding would also provide about 37 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 26 tons of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), and 7 tons of reactive organic gas (ROG) emission reductions.
Staff estimated that the remaining $257.5 million of the allocation used for increased rebates for low-income consumers would fund about 57,000 rebates and provide 431,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent GHG emission reductions. The allocation would also provide about 28 tons of NOx, 20 tons of PM 2.5, and 6 tons of ROG emission reductions. After the funding is expended, CARB will report on the actual number of rebates issued, emission reductions achieved, and disadvantaged community benefits as part of future Annual Reports to the Legislature on California Climate Investments.
The EV market is continuing to grow dynamically. Although it is still early in the EV market’s development, there is a clear need to evaluate the effectiveness of investments toward CVRP and other light-duty vehicle purchase incentives. Staff provided a major update to the Three-Year Plan for CVRP, the EV Market, Clean Transportation Equity Investments, and Outreach in Appendix C of the FY 2022-23 Funding Plan. The update to the long-term plan covers FYs 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25. This includes an updated review of market and technology indicators and a determination of if and when additional changes need to be made to CARB’s light-duty vehicle purchase incentives. These indicators include but are not limited to: EV sales as a fraction of the new car market; technology advancement such as vehicle range; battery cost and vehicle price; vehicle diversity and number of manufacturers producing EVs; growth of the used EV market; and consumer awareness about EVs.
As part of the Supplemental Report of the 2018-19 Budget Act, CARB is required to submit an annual supplemental report, until January 1, 2030, that includes a forecast of the total state rebate investment necessary to reach the goal of placing at least 5 million EVs in service on California’s roads. Development of the first report occurred alongside the development of the update to the long-term plan for CVRP and light-duty incentives in FY 2019-20. The first report was provided in the FY 2019-20 Funding Plan as part of Appendix C and will be updated and included in Appendix C of the Funding Plan annually thereafter until 2030.
Staff has developed the next long-term plan to further evaluate the effectiveness of CVRP by looking at the impacts the program has on California’s ZEV market. Currently, the CVRP consumer survey provides data that helps analyze market impacts through demographics of program participants and importance of CVRP and other EV incentives. In previous long-term plans, staff indicated that a 16-20 percent EV market share would define a sustainable market. Aside from market share statistics, staff identified metrics to track the progress toward EV market sustainability, which would signal a phase-out of broad market incentives. These metrics include:
- ZEV sales numbers.
- Diversity in available models.
- Consumer education and awareness.
- Battery and vehicle cost.
- Importance and impact of federal policies.
Staff plans to continue work with stakeholders through the public process to determine if there are additional metrics that can help measure the progress toward EV market sustainability. Additionally, staff will continue working with stakeholders to identify goal markers for each of these metrics, and ensure the metrics are responsive to the recommendations in the CARB Audit Report. This will help with the development of a plan to phase out standard rebates once market sustainability is reached and turn CVRP’s main focus to harder to reach market segments through increased rebates.
Finally, staff continue to conduct surveys of program participants to understand the importance of the rebate in relationship with other vehicle purchase incentives. Staff use this data to help understand potential behavioral impacts of the incentive and consider potential changes to the program. Survey data for CVRP is publicly available on the CVRP website: https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/en/rebate-survey-dashboard.
Through February 2023, CVRP has provided rebates for over 512,000 vehicles totaling over $1.19 billion since the project’s launch in 2010. Since March 2016, over 44,500 increased rebates have been issued to low-income consumers totaling over $192 million. About 68 percent of rebates issued went to BEVs, about 29 percent to PHEVs, and about 3 percent to FCEVs and zero-emission motorcycles.
Since 2013, CVRP has issued voluntary participant surveys in order to obtain additional data about participants, their experience with the program, and to better understand EV adoption in California. As this is a voluntary survey, there is no guarantee that the responses received will statistically represent program participants as a whole. To address this, a weighting system was applied to appropriately amplify or attenuate responses. The raking method was used to produce weights that make the results based upon the survey data representative of the program with respect to county, vehicle model, vehicle category, and whether the vehicle was purchased or leased. The raking method was used to illustrate the current demographic makeup of CVRP participants based on data obtained through voluntary surveys that were fielded in 2017-20 and best represent program participation since the inclusion of income eligibility criteria. Staff will update this information once the current edition of the survey is done being fielded.
Estimated Program Benefits
More information is available on the California Climate Investments CVRP website.
In a continued effort to provide transparency and commitment to data, CARB is taking measures to improve data collection for the evaluation, analysis, and reporting of socioeconomic benefits for program participants. This includes an updated survey to provide for more streamlined data collection, analysis, and identification of benefits or areas for improvement. These surveys are self-reported by participants on improved access to employment and goods and services, reliability, and participant testimonials. The table below demonstrates relationships and metrics that these surveys will capture and quantify.
A Rebate Map, Rebate Statistics, and a Rebate Survey Dashboard for CVRP can be found on the Clean Vehicle Rebate website.