State regulators have approved $133 million in funding for the California green car rebate program, increased the amounts for which low income households can qualify, lowered the income ceiling for others and removed several plug-in hybrid cars from the list of qualified vehicles.
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The new rules will provide qualified low income buyers or lessees with rebates of $7,000 for fuel-cell electric vehicles, $4,500 for eligible battery electric vehicles and $3,500 for plug-in hybrids. The new low-income rebates are $500 higher than in previous years and are now $2,000 higher than rebates for other qualified buyers. The state rebates are in addition to federal income tax credits of up to $7,500 for plug-in vehicles and $8,000 for fuel-cell electric vehicles.
California defines low-income households eligible for the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project as those with annual household income that is no more than 300 percent above the federal poverty level. For a single individual, the California green car rebate cutoff would be $35,640; for a family of four it is $72,900.
The state has lowered the cutoff for high income green car buyers and lessees. Starting Nov. 1, individuals with gross annual incomes above $150,000 and joint tax filers with incomes above $300,000 will no longer be eligible for a clean car rebate.
The new funding is for purchases or leases made during the state’s 2016-17 fiscal year, which begins Nov. 1, and for plug-in and fuel-cell electric car buyers who were placed on a rebate waiting list when program funding ran out toward the end of the current fiscal year.
Another significant change for 2016-17 is that plug-in hybrids now will have to have an EPA rating of 20 miles of more for their all-electric range in order to qualify.
The official state list of eligible vehicles is slated to be revamped on Nov. 1 to eliminated plug-in hybrids that no longer will be eligible for a rebate.
For more information about clean car incentives, check our PEV Incentives article.