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Purchase Incentives

Overview of Purchase Incentives

Light-duty vehicle purchase incentives play an important role in increasing the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California’s roadways and achieving large-scale transformation of the fleet. These incentive projects are a result of multiple key legislative drivers, including Senate Bill (SB) 1275, SB 535, AB 1550, and SB 350, but also recognize that increasing clean transportation access and consumer awareness must be an ongoing process. Driven by community need and guiding Legislation, Clean Cars 4 All (CC4A) and the Driving Clean Assistance Program (DCAP) help increase access to cleaner vehicles for priority populations, including lower income households and disadvantaged communities. These programs also offer critical support by providing purchase incentives, supporting the secondary ZEV market, and providing prepaid charging card incentives to be used at public charging stations. These programs also promote ZEV awareness, education, and provide a financial stimulus to lower-income Californians to aid in the purchase of cleaner vehicles. While each program has different goals and eligibility requirements, they complement each other by providing financial tools and incentives to make advanced clean technology vehicles more affordable and achievable for lower-income consumers. The new Electric Bicycles Incentive Project is designed to help Californians reduce vehicle miles traveled by reducing barriers to e-bike ownership. Access Clean California provides resources for lower-income individuals to find and apply for all of the state and local clean transportation and energy benefits they qualify for, such as money for public transit or a new or used ZEV; free or low-cost home charging; and no-cost home solar.

Despite the challenges and barriers faced by lower-income consumers, demand from these projects indicates that there is substantial interest in purchasing cleaner vehicles. As these projects reach more Californians and demand grows, there is a need to further develop and improve these projects.  Each year CARB staff review these projects as part of the Clean Transportation Funding Plan and make recommendations for changes to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and consumer experience.


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