FAQs

Frequently asked questions about CVRP and the rebate application process. 
For information about the Public Fleet Pilot Project, go to the pilot FAQs. Need help? Contact Us.

Vehicle Eligibility

I purchased a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that is no longer on the eligible vehicle list. Can I still apply for a rebate?

The following plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models were removed from the eligible vehicle list on November 1, 2016 due to new electric range requirements:

  • Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (MY 2014)
  • Honda Accord Plug-In (MY 2015-2016)
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class 550e (MY 2012-2015)
  • Volvo XC90 T8 (MY 2016-2017)

Consumers who purchased or leased these vehicles on or before October 31, 2016 may still apply for a rebate within 18 months of the vehicle purchase or lease date. Please contact our team for directions at 866-984-2532 or cvrp@energycenter.org. 

What vehicles are eligible?

There are three different types of vehicles eligible for the project:

Zero-Emissions Vehicles (ZEV)
Any vehicle certified to zero-emission standards. In general, ZEVs are full-function, freeway capable battery electric/fuel cell vehicles.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
PHEVs are hybrid electric vehicles that have zero-emission vehicle range capability and an onboard electrical energy storage device that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. In general, PHEVs are vehicles that can be driven using electricity, gasoline or both.

Zero-Emission Motorcycles (ZEM)
A ZEM is defined as either a two-wheeled electric motorcycle meeting the provisions of CVC section 400 or a fully enclosed, freeway capable, three-wheeled zero-emission vehicle.

Vehicle manufacturers must apply for CVRP eligibility with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and meet a number of program requirements. If all requirements are met, the vehicle is added to the list of Eligible Vehicles.

I'm an OEM; how do I get my vehicle on the CVRP Eligible Vehicle List?

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) manages the eligibility process. Vehicle eligibility requirements are available in the CVRP Implementation Manual.

Can rental car/car share companies participate in the CVRP?

Yes. Rental and car share fleets provide a unique opportunity for introducing eligible vehicles to a large consumer base. Rental fleets and car share fleets are subject to a limit of 20 rebated vehicles per calendar year.

Rental or car share fleets that own and operate vehicles in California for a minimum of 30 months are eligible for the vehicle’s maximum rebate amount as shown on the list of Eligible Vehicles. Rental and car share vehicles that are retained in California for a minimum of one year (twelve consecutive months) but less than 30 months are eligible for a reduced rebate amount (see table below).  Vehicles must be available for rent from a California rental location for the minimum twelve consecutive month term. 

Vehicle Type

Maximum Rebate Amount Under Reduced Ownership

Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicle

$2,000

All-Battery or Range-Extended Electric Vehicle

$1,000

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

$600

Zero-Emission Motorcycle

$360

Why don’t I see my vehicle on the eligibility list?

Vehicle manufacturers must apply for CVRP eligibility with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and meet a number of program requirements.

Generally, a vehicle is not eligible to participate in the CVRP for one of these reasons:

  • It does not meet required emission standards.
  • It does not have an original equipment manufacturer’s warranty.
  • It does not meet the 30-month lease term duration requirements

Vehicle models over two years old are also removed from the eligible vehicle list. The following table provides information on why several common vehicles are not on the list.

 

ModelModel YearReason Not Eligible/Removed from Eligible Vehicles List
Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric2012Azure Dynamics is no longer in business, so there is no manufacturer's warranty
BMW 330e2016Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
BMW 740e2017Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
BMW ActiveE2011Lease term was only 24 months
BMW i82014-2015Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
BMW X5 xDrive40e2016Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Brammo Empulse    2013-2014       Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Brammo Empulse R2014Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Brammo Enertia2010-2012Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Brammo Enertia Plus   2011-2013Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Chevrolet Volt (Non-Low Emissions Package)2011-2017Standard emissions package not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
CODA Sedan2012-2013CODA is no longer in business, so there is no manufacturer’s warranty
Fisker Karma2012Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Honda Accord Plug-In2014Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Honda FCX Clarity2010-2014Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Honda Fit EV2013-2014Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 350e2016Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e2016Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Mercedes-Benz F-Cell2011-2012Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible.*
Mercedes-Benz S-Class 550e2015-2016 Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Porsche Cayenne2015-2016Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Porsche 918 Spyder2015-2016Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Porsche Panamera2014-2016Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Tesla Roadster2009-2011Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid 2012-2015Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Toyota RAV4 EV2012-2014Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Volvo XC90 T8 2016-2017Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**

*Consumers who purchased or leased a new vehicle for these model years may still apply for a rebate within 18 months of the vehicle purchase or lease date. Please contact our team for directions at 866-984-2532 or cvrp@energycenter.org

**If vehicle was purchased on or before October 31, 2016, please read: I purchased a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that is no longer on the eligible vehicle list. Can I still apply for a rebate?

Medium and heavy-duty hybrid and zero-emission vehicles are incentivized through the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP). Please visit www.californiahvip.org for more information.

CVRP General Information

Do you have details on the November 1 program changes?

On September 14, 2016, the California legislature passed SB 859 which established new requirements for CVRP. Changes such as lowered income caps, higher increased rebate amounts for low- and moderate-income consumers, and new range requirements for plug-in hybrids will be implemented beginning November 1, 2016. CVRP will continue to operate without these changes until November 1, 2016.

Please visit our income eligibility page and eligibility guidelines page (Vehicle Eligibility section) to find currently known information about the November 1, 2016 program changes.

What does the rebate waitlist mean to me?

The rebate waitlist began on June 11 when CVRP funding for fiscal year 2015-16 was exhausted. $133M in new funding was approved for CVRP on September 14 to cover waitlisted applications and applications received in fiscal year 2016-17. The waitlist officially ended on September 29.

We anticipate receiving funding to begin issuing rebate checks in December. Your rebate will be paid as soon as possible after funds are available if you meet all requirements and submit correct supporting documents within the given time frame.

We will continue to update our website as more information is available. 

My application has been approved. When will I receive my rebate check?

What is the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project?

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) is funded by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and administered statewide by the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in order to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles, including electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles.

I want more detailed information about the CVRP. Can I get a copy of the CVRP Implementation Manual?

Yes. You can download a copy of the CVRP Implementation Manual, which contains the detailed guidelines for CVRP.

Before You Apply

What is considered date of purchase/lease for Tesla vehicles?

For Tesla vehicles ordered prior to March 29, 2016, the vehicle order date will be considered the date of purchase or lease.  For Tesla vehicles ordered on or after March 29, 2016, the date of first registration with the California DMV will be considered the date of purchase or lease.

If you are applying for a Tesla vehicle, please take a moment to identify your vehicle order date and corresponding date of purchase/lease. Your order date is:

  • The “accepted by customer” date on your final Vehicle Configuration Sheet, or
  • The date you received your first order confirmation email from Tesla, subject line, “Thank you for your order.”

Examples may be viewed in our sample supporting documents (cleanvehiclerebate.org/sampledocs), starting on page 18.

If your order date is before March 29, 2016, enter your order date as your date of purchase/lease. If your order date is on or after March 29, 2016, enter the date on your registration.

If you have questions, please call our team at 866-984-2532.   

How do I know if I can apply for a rebate?

Please review CVRP eligibility guidelines.

 

Is my vehicle eligible for a rebate?

Your vehicle must:

  • Be on the list of Eligible Vehicles.*
  • Be purchased/leased on or after the Eligibility Dates listed below.
  • Be new as defined in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 430 and must be manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or its authorized licensee. Vehicles considered new vehicles solely for determination of compliance with state emissions standards are not eligible.
  • Be registered as new in California.
Vehicle Eligibility Dates
Zero-Emission Vehicles: Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Honda FCX Clarity3/15/2010
Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell4/10/2014
Mercedes-Benz F-Cell6/15/2012
Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle8/6/2015
Zero-Emission Vehicles: Battery Electric
BLUECAR Bluecar3/1/2016
BMW i33/10/2014
BMW i3 REx4/30/2014
BYD e611/20/2012
Chevrolet Bolt EV11/28/2016
Chevrolet Spark EV6/12/2013
FIAT 500e3/22/2013
Ford Focus Electric2/28/2012
Honda Fit EV7/16/2012
Kia Soul EV9/22/2014
Mercedes-Benz B250e6/27/2014
Mitsubishi i-MiEV11/21/2011
Nissan LEAF12/9/2010
Smart Electric Fortwo (Coupe and Cabrio)12/1/2010
Tesla Model S 601/22/2013
Tesla Model S 708/12/2015
Tesla Model S 70D4/9/2015
Tesla Model S 7512/17/2015
Tesla Model S 855/15/2012
Tesla Model S 85D, P85D1/26/2015
Tesla Model S 90, 90D, P90D8/12/2015
Tesla Model S 10012/17/2015
Tesla Model X9/22/2015
Tesla Roadster3/15/2010
Toyota RAV4 EV9/26/2012
Volkswagen e-Golf10/30/2014
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Audi A3 e-tron12/28/2015
Cadillac ELR12/9/2013
Chevrolet Volt (Low Emissions Package)2/16/2012
Ford CMAX Energi10/9/2012
Ford Fusion Energi1/8/2013
Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid11/23/2015
Toyota Prius Prime10/11/2016
Zero-Emission Motorcycles
Brammo Empulse, Empulse R, Empulse R E-Boz11/8/2012
Brammo Enertia Plus3/25/2011
Brammo Enertia3/15/2010
Victory Empulse TT1/26/2016
Zero FX1/29/2013
Zero S, DS3/15/2010
Zero XU2/10/2012
Zero SR1/16/2014
Zero DSR, FXS11/13/2015

*I purchased a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that is no longer on the eligible vehicle list. Can I still apply for a rebate?

How many rebates can I receive?

Except for rental, public, and car share fleets, no single entity is eligible to receive more than two CVRP rebates either via direct purchase and/or lease as of January 1, 2015.  All rebates issued prior to this date do not count toward the two rebate limit. 

Individuals or businesses that have met the rebate limit with non-fuel cell vehicles may apply for one additional rebate for a fuel cell vehicle.

Traditional rental car fleets and car share fleets are capped at 20 rebates per calendar year.  Public fleets are limited to 30 rebates per calendar year.

Is my CVRP rebate taxable?

CSE does not issue a 1099 for your rebate. We cannot offer tax advice of any kind, and advise you to contact a certified public accountant or tax professional regarding the taxability of the CVRP rebate.

How do I know if rebate funds are available?

View real-time CVRP funding availability. If funds are not available, you cannot apply online for a rebate. If funds are available, your rebate amount will be reserved when you apply online. You will receive your rebate as long as you meet all requirements and submit correct supporting documents within the given time frame.

For more details on application requirements please visit How do I know if I can apply for a rebate?

For more details on required supporting documents please visit What supporting documents do I need to submit for my application?

Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?

Yes, the vehicle can be purchased out of state. However, the first time the vehicle is registered it must be in California to be eligible for the project. For more information about purchasing a vehicle out of state go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Caution: Only Low Emissions Package Chevrolet Volts are eligible for the CVRP rebate. Chevrolet Volts sold out of state are generally Standard Emissions Package, which are not eligible for the CVRP rebate. Low Emissions Package Chevrolet Volts will have a "C," "D," "E," "F," or "G" in the 5th position of the vehicle identification number (VIN). 

 

The Application Process

How do I know if I’ve been selected for income verification?

Applications are usually selected for income verification when you apply. If selected at this time, your confirmation email will include all necessary information and attachments. You will also see a place to upload Proof of Income on your My Application page immediately after you complete your online application:

Applications may also be selected for income verification later in our review process. If you are selected at a later time, we will send you an email with directions.

How do I apply for a rebate?

After purchasing or leasing an eligible vehicle, follow this simple process:

  1. Add cvrp@energycenter.org to your email safe senders list.
  2. Submit your CVRP application online.
  3. Write down your application number.
  4. Prepare your supporting documents to submit online.
  5. Submit your supporting documents online within 14 days of application date.

How do I add cvrp@energycenter.org to my email safe sender's list?

I’m not getting your emails. Where are they?

If you do not receive an email within 15 minutes after requesting a copy of your application form or a link to create/reset your password, please check your Spam / Junk / Bulk mail folder.

Make sure that cvrp@energycenter.org is on your email safe senders list so you can receive our emails.

Request a new password.

Request a copy of your application

How do I add cvrp@energycenter.org to my email safe sender’s list?

How do I add cvrp@energycenter.org to my email safe sender's list?

For guidance on adding our email address to your safe sender’s list, click the name of your email service provider below:

What is an email safe sender’s list?

Periodically check your Spam / Junk / Bulk mail folders in case one of our emails still gets caught in your filters. Some of our emails come directly from the specialist handling your application (example: firstName.lastName@energycenter.org), so please add any email address that you receive from us to your safe senders list and/or Contacts.

What supporting documents do I need to submit for my application?

Individual:

  1. A signed copy of your CVRP Application Form.
  2. A complete copy of your executed and signed vehicle lease or purchase agreement.*
  3. Proof of temporary or permanent vehicle registration.
  4. A copy of your California driver’s license.
  5. A completed and signed IRS Form 4506-T, if selected for income verification. Note: Only a portion of applicants will be selected for income verification. You do not have to submit proof of income unless you have been selected for income verification.

    * Zero Emission Motorcycles: Evidence of maintenance free batteries (and sealed if lead-acid) and a 24-month warranty is required.

Individual (Increased Rebate):

  1. A signed copy of your CVRP Application Form.
  2. A complete copy of your executed and signed vehicle lease or purchase agreement.*
  3. Proof of temporary or permanent vehicle registration.
  4. A copy of your California driver’s license.
  5. Proof of household income, if selected for income verification.  Option A or B may be submitted:

Note: Only a portion of applicants will be selected for income verification. You do not have to submit proof of income unless you have been selected for income verification.

Business/Non-Profit:

  1. A signed copy of your CVRP Application Form.
  2. A complete copy of your executed and signed vehicle lease or purchase agreement.*
  3. Proof of temporary or permanent vehicle registration.
  4. Proof of California-based business: local business license, articles of incorporation, or other formation document filed with the California Secretary of State.

    * Zero Emission Motorcycles: Evidence of maintenance free batteries (and sealed if lead-acid) and a 24-month warranty is required.

Government:

  1. A signed copy of your CVRP Application Form.
  2. A complete copy of your executed and signed vehicle lease or purchase agreement.*
    Note: If your vehicle was purchased through General Service Administration (GSA), please provide a copy of the GSA purchase order and certificate of origin.
  3. Proof of temporary or permanent vehicle registration.
    Note: If your vehicle is a federal motor vehicle and has U.S. government registration and plates, please provide a written statement from a member of your agency with signature authority that indicates the vehicle will remain operational in California for a period of at least 30 months.

    * Zero Emission Motorcycles: Evidence of maintenance free batteries (and sealed if lead-acid) and a 24-month warranty is required.

View Sample Supporting Documents PDF

How do I know if I've been selected for income verification?

How do I submit my supporting documents?

Easy Online Upload:

1. Log in with your application number and password.

2. Upload and submit your supporting documents online.

What is my application number?

What is my password?

Mail:

Center for Sustainable Energy
Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
9325 Sky Park Court, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123

Note: Documents mailed to the Air Resources Board, CSE’s Oakland or Los Angeles locations will not be processed.

Email:

Because of security and privacy concerns, applicants are strongly discouraged from emailing their supporting documentation. However, applicants may email their supporting documentation to cvrp@energycenter.org with the understanding that they accept all risk associated with emailing these documents.

What do I need to know about submitting my supporting documents online?

Each supporting document must be in a single file. We accept PDF, JPG, and PNG files.

Please make sure your files are not sideways.

I have multiple files for my supporting documents. What do I do?
How do I scan my long purchase/lease agreement?
What if I don’t own a scanner?

What if I don’t own a scanner?

Scanners are available at most California public libraries. Please visit your local California public library website or call your local library branch for more information.

Scanning services are also available through stores such as FedEx, Kinkos, Office Depot, Staples, The UPS Store, and other office stores. Please contact your preferred store to verify services.

How do I scan my long purchase/lease agreement?

If you have a long purchase/lease agreement, you will need to take several scans and combine the separate scans into one file.

Be sure to include all sections of your agreement. We recommend overlapping your scans so that some information is duplicated on each page:

How do I combine multiple files into one file?

How do I combine multiple files into one file?

If you have more than one file for a supporting document, here are some ways to combine multiple files into one document:

  1. Combine multiple pdf pages into one pdf document.
  2. Combine your files into a zip folder.

If you can’t combine multiple files into one file, view How do I submit my supporting documents? for other options.

Where is my application number?

Your application number is in your confirmation email.  It is also in the top left corner of your application form, which was attached to your confirmation email. Your application number looks like this: A-123456. 

If you did not receive a confirmation email, please check your junk mail and add cvrp@energycenter.org to your email safe senders list for future emails. If you still cannot find your application number, please contact CVRP staff.

What is my password?

I’m not getting your emails. Where are they?

How do I add cvrp@energycenter.org to my email safe sender’s list?

What is my password?

You only need a password after you submit an application online.

Follow the directions to request a link to create/reset your new password. Be sure to check your junk mail and add cvrp@energycenter.org to your email safe senders list.

How do I add cvrp@energycenter.org to my email safe sender’s list?

Is it okay if the address on my California driver’s license does not match the address on my application?

Yes. The address on your driver’s license does not need to match the address on your application form. However, the name on your driver’s license must match the name on the application form.

View Sample Supporting Documents PDF

After the Application Process

My application has been approved. When will I receive my rebate check?

We typically send your rebate check within 90 days of your application approval date. You will receive an email when your check has been placed in the mail. Delays beyond normal processing times may occur.

If you applied during the waitlist (June 11-September 28, 2016): We anticipate receiving funding in December 2016 and will issue rebate checks for approved applications as quickly as we can. See "What does the rebate waitlist mean to me?" for more details.

Why does it take 90 days for you to mail my check after my application is approved?

What does the rebate waitlist mean to me?

Why does it take 90 days for you to mail my check after my application is approved?

It can typically take up to 90 calendar days from approval date to issue a CVRP rebate check for the following reasons:

  • CVRP funding comes from several state sources, and it is often accrued over time.
  • The funding is distributed to the CVRP in batches throughout the year.
  • CVRP rebate checks are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
How will I know the status of my rebate?

Go to the CVRP Application Status page to check the status of your application. You will also receive an email at each step in the application process.

Be sure to add cvrp@energycenter.org to your email safe senders list.

Can I appeal the denial of my rebate application?

Rebate applications that have been denied or cancelled by the Administrator may be appealed within 10 days of the date of the cancellation.  If the only basis for an appeal is that the applicant disagrees with the policies set forth in the CVRP Terms and Conditions and the Implementation Manual, there is no basis for an appeal.  A formal letter of appeal must be postmarked within 10 days of a cancelled application and addressed to the following:

CVRP Appeals
MSCD 5th Floor
1001 I St., P.O. Box 2815
Sacramento, CA 95812 

I don’t have my rebated vehicle anymore. What do I do?

Rebated vehicles must be registered in California and stay in the possession of the applicant for 30 consecutive months from the original purchase or lease date. Resale of a vehicle or return to a dealer is allowed within this 30 month period if necessitated by unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances.  Military duty exemptions may be approved by ARB on a case-by-case basis. If you are no longer in possession of your rebated vehicle, please give us a call at 866-984-2532 to discuss your available options.

ARB verifies vehicle ownership through periodic checks of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) in the California DMV database. If a vehicle purchaser or lessee sells or returns the rebated vehicle to the dealer and does not receive prior approval, ARB or its designee reserves the right to recoup CVRP funds from the original vehicle purchaser identified on the rebate form and may pursue other remedies available under the law for unauthorized early termination of vehicle ownership.  

Additional Electric Vehicle/Infrastructure Incentives

Are there any local incentives for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in California?

Yes there are additional incentives for both vehicles and charging stations throughout California. These incentives vary by location and type of incentive. To learn more about what is available and how to apply, please visit the Air Resources Board's Drive Clean Buying Guide.

Are there any Federal tax incentives for electric vehicles?

Federal tax credits for Zero-Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) range between $2,500 to $7,500, with factors such as battery capacity determining how much owners are eligible to receive. To meet the tax incentive's standards, a ZEV or PHEV must have a battery with a minimum capacity of 4 kilowatt-hours. Vehicles with a battery capacity of 5 kWh or greater are eligible for an additional $417 of tax credit added for every Kilowatt-hour in excess of 4 kWh. Vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF, with a 24 kWh capacity battery, will be eligible for the maximum $7,500 credit.

For further information on federal tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles, and electric-drive vehicles, visit www.fueleconomy.gov. Additionally, local jurisdictions may also have incentive programs. Check with your local jurisdiction to find out what they offer.