By on July 23, 2011

California has backed up its strict emissions standards for years now with a $5,000 tax credit for electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, which when combined with a $7,000 federal tax credit can often make those vehicles nearly as affordable as “regular” cars. But, reports Automotive News [sub], that state credit has fallen victim to California’s budget woes and oversubscription, and has been cut in half from $5,000 to $2,500. According to the report:

high demand exhausted the program’s funding last month. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that about 500 consumers who bought electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Roadster are on a waiting list and will collect the $2,500 rebate.

To deal with growing demand, the pool of money to fund the rebates was increased to between $15 million and $21 million for CARB’s current fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, according to CARB’s announcement. A total of $11.1 million was allocated in the program’s first two years, according to CARB spokeswoman Mary Fricke.

The increased cash pool and lowered rebate amount are aimed at making the incentive available to more consumers, according to CARB’s Web site. The changes are projected to fund about 6,000 rebates for consumers who apply for the program on a first-come basis, Fricke said.

Now California “green car” intenders not only get a reduced tax credit, but they also don’t get free access to the HOV lane anymore. It’s almost as if California wants “green” vehicles to succeed or fail on their own terms…

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12 Comments on “California Cuts Green Car Incentive In Half...”


  • avatar

    Can someone who lives in California explain to me how an unelected and seemingly unaccountable body, CARB, can promulgate laws? You can impeach elected officials. How can you get someone thrown off of CARB?

    Just look at how CARB and its allies retaliated against epidemiologist James Enstrom, who dared to challenge the scientific basis of their diesel particulate rules, and further annoyed the high priests of Gaia by revealing that the CARB employee who did the research for the study Enstrom criticized, Hien Tran, had bought his degree from a diploma mill.

    Tran is still working at CARB and Enstrom lost his position at UCLA because his research was determined to be at odds with the orthodox AGW mission of the school.

    • 0 avatar

      The dismissal of James Engstrom really is a shame. He has now founded a Scientific Integrity Institute (c.f. http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.com/index.html). Hopefully, he can do further research work there.

  • avatar
    west-coaster

    they also don’t get free access to the HOV lane anymore

    Not true.

    Only the gold stickers, issued to certain hybrids, expired. The white HOV stickers issued to “clean air” cars like the Leaf, Tesla, Civic GX, etc. continue on through at least 2016.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I don’t think CA wants green cars to succeed or fail on their own merits; I just think they’re out of money.

    Economic realities usually prevail over good intentions. This fact will determine how the proposed 56.2 mpg CAFE rule plays out.

    I’m no subsidy fan, but selfishly the Leaf’s net price after subsidy used to attract me. Nissan’s price increase – combined with stricter government handouts – makes me much less interested.

  • avatar
    Acd

    I’m not sure how it is right for one Californian to subsidize another Californian’s car buying decision through a tax credit. This seems like an easy item to cut from a budget that doesn’t have enough revenue coming in to pay for the essentials.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    As seemingly with many things California, the measure wasn’t thought through very well. According to the article it appears that the Tesla qualified for the credit/rebate which is ridiculous. While I understand the reasoning behind the measure to make electric cars more affordable and perhaps not much more than comparable non-electrics to the average buyer/citizen, anyone who can afford to buy the Tesla roadster is not in a position where the credit would make a difference in their decision. The program should have been capped at a certain purchase price, not open to all.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I wonder if those buying these cars are buying them because of the rebate, or is the rebate simply viewed as icing on the cake.

    As to the broader issue of tax dollars being used this way, I’ll point all questions to the big red hole in the middle of our state budget for the answer there. When ideologically driven leftists are at the controls, this is the type of nonsense one should expect. We’re going broke and money is being spent on programs that are at best “nice to have’s” instead of where the money is most needed – back in the pockets of the middle class.

    Of course, what would one expect from a state that has successfully gotten Amazon to pull several thousand affiliates to ensure they insulate themselves from having to collect CA sales tax. Ideological purity is ignorant, selfish and ultimately self defeating.

  • avatar
    don1967

    It’s almost as if California wants “green” vehicles to succeed or fail on their own terms…

    Nothing like tough economic times to boot pet projects off the voters’ priority list. I guess the social engineers who so enjoy playing with other people’s money will have to settle for board games like Monopoly instead.

  • avatar
    Rob

    Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door. Failure, on the other hand, requires a government subsidy to survive.

  • avatar
    MrBostn

    Others may refer to it as running out of other peoples money…

  • avatar
    BoredOOMM

    Edward, California is BANKRUPT and somewhere the bleeding has to STOP. I state if someone has the job to afford the Eco-machine like a $40000 Volt, they can afford the $2500 extra or squeeze the dealer to eat more of the price. I opted to pay $2500 for repairs/upgrades to suspension 3 years ago instead of paying $13000 for a replacement vehicle. Seeing someone whine about a Government rebate is vastly annoying when you don’t have enough to buy even a $2500 car.

    +1 don1967

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I’m glad to hear this. People should buy these cars with their own money. If the economics doesn’t add up they can rationalize about how they are saving the world.


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