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FAQs

Frequently asked questions about CVRP and the rebate application process. 
For information about CVRP for public fleets, go to the public fleet FAQs. Need help? Contact Us.

CVRP General Information

How often do CVRP program requirements change?

CVRP’s Terms and Conditions and Implementation Manual are updated every six months to accommodate operational process changes. Both the Terms and Conditions and Implementation Manual in place at the time of application will determine an applicant’s eligibility for the program. Changes to these governing documents may impact the applicant’s eligibility for the program. 

The next regular updates are scheduled as follows*:

  • January 2019
  • July 2019

*Note that there may be instances where no update is necessary.

CVRP also reserves the right to update the Implementation Manual and the Terms and Conditions outside of the scheduled updates.  The timing of these updates will be communicated here as early as possible. 

Summary of Past Updates

  • July 31 2018: The Implementation Manual and Terms and Conditions for CVRP have been updated to include CVRP for public fleets. As of this date, all participating public fleets are subject to the combined guidelines, and CVRP for public fleets guidelines will be obsolete.
Which dealerships participate in CVRP Rebate Now?

Please visit our participating dealerships page to view a list of currently enrolled dealerships.

When will the option to get preapproved through CVRP Rebate Now be available statewide?

Statewide rollout of the CVRP Rebate Now option to get preapproved is anticipated to launch after the San Diego County pilot is successful. More details will be announced here as the statewide plan is finalized.

Do I need to know what vehicle I’m going to purchase before applying for CVRP Rebate Now and getting preapproved?

No, you do not need to know what vehicle you’re going to purchase. Once preapproved, you may choose to purchase/lease any eligible vehicle type. Your preapproved rebate amounts for each eligible vehicle type will be shown on your status page

What is the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project?

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) is funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) 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.

The Application Process

I’m preapproved. What are my next steps?

Congratulations! You can now either claim your rebate yourself after purchasing/leasing your eligible vehicle or have it applied directly to your purchase/lease price at a participating dealership*:

1. Purchase or lease an eligible vehicle at a participating dealership and let the dealership apply the rebate at the point of sale.

When visiting a participating dealership, bring your CVRP application number and California driver’s license number with you.†  The dealership will need these to verify your preapproved rebate amounts online prior to completing your contract. The dealership can then structure your negotiated purchase or lease price using the rebate as part of your down payment.

After negotiations are complete, the dealership will claim your rebate online. You will receive a final email to confirm that the dealership has claimed the rebate. There are no additional actions you will need to take. Your work is done once the purchase or lease agreement showing your preapproved rebate amount is signed and your sale or lease is finalized. The dealership will submit all required vehicle documentation to CVRP. 

 

2. Purchase or lease an eligible vehicle at any dealership and claim the rebate yourself.

If you would like to claim the rebate yourself, you may visit any dealership to purchase or lease an eligible vehicle. Once the purchase or lease is complete, claim the rebate yourself online before your preapproval expires. Before purchasing or leasing, be sure to review vehicle eligibility guidelines

You must submit required vehicle documentation to CVRP within 14 days of rebate claim. Please be sure to check your status frequently to make sure your application is approved.†† Rebate checks are issued within 90 days of application approval date.

Your rebate amounts by vehicle type are listed on your status page and may be used towards a new eligible vehicle model. For a full overview of the CVRP preapproval option, please visit our CVRP Rebate Now page

 

*Rebates must be claimed prior to preapproval expiration. 

† If you did not have a California driver’s license number or ID when you applied, this will be another unique identifying number from a passport, out-of-state driver’s license, etc. If you are unsure how we have recorded your alternate unique identifying number in our system, please contact CVRP to confirm your unique identifier and prevent issues with dealership verification. 

†† If we find an issue with your application materials, we provide ten days to correct the issue before automatic cancellation. If your application is cancelled, you will need to reapply and submit a new application. Any new application will go through the standard application process and your eligibility will be subject to the Terms and Conditions, Implementation Manual, and fund availability in place at the time of your new application.

I’m not able to purchase/lease before my preapproval expires. What are my options?

If you’re not able to purchase or lease an eligible vehicle prior to expiration of your CVRP Rebate Now preapproved rebate, you have the following options:

1) Apply for preapproval again and purchase/lease a vehicle after you are preapproved and before your preapproval expires.

2) Purchase/lease an eligible vehicle and apply through the standard post-purchase application process.

How long will it take to process my application?

CVRP staff members review applications in the order that supporting documents are received. Our average times to first review are shown below. We are very excited about the recent significant increase in Clean Vehicle Rebate Project applications. Due to this unprecedented volume, processing times are longer than usual. Our team thanks you for your decision to drive a clean vehicle and sincerely appreciates your patience while we work to process your application. These estimates were last updated: 10/15/2018.

  • Applications not selected for income verification: 71 calendar days.
  • Applications selected for income verification: 88 calendar days.

For example, if your documents were received by CVRP staff on 10/1/2018 and your application was selected for income verification, the estimated date of first review is 12/28/2018. Around this time, a staff member will review your application materials. If you meet all eligibility requirements and your documentation is complete, your application will be approved at that time; if you do not meet requirements for approval or your documentation is incomplete, you will receive a status update with more information. Status updates are communicated on your status page and by email.

As we cannot guarantee our emails will not be blocked by your email server, we highly recommend visiting your status page periodically to check the status of your application; if we find an issue with your application materials, we provide ten days to correct the issue before automatic cancellation.

What tax year does CVRP verify during the income verification process?

After the federal tax filing deadline in April of each year, CVRP will request and evaluate tax transcripts for the tax year previous to the current year. For example, CVRP began requesting tax transcripts for tax year 2016 after the tax filing deadline in April 2017. 

If an applicant has filed their taxes for a previous year before CVRP switches to requesting it in April, applicants may request that CVRP evaluate the previous tax year. For example, an applicant who has already filed their 2017 taxes in February of 2018 may request that CVRP evaluate their tax transcript for tax year 2017. 

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. For California State and local government entities, visit CVRP for public fleets to apply.
  3. Write down your application number.
  4. Review our sample supporting documents and prepare your supporting documents to submit online. 
  5. Submit your supporting documents online within 14 days of application date.
  6. Periodically check your status online to ensure you are aware of any further action needed to take your application to approval status.  Note: If we find an issue with your application materials, we provide ten days to correct the issue before automatic cancellation. 

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?

Required supporting documents are listed by applicant type below. 

Note: Submitting incomplete or incorrect supporting documents will delay your application approval and may result in your application being cancelled. Visit our sample supporting documents page and use the checklist included to help avoid the most common mistakes. 

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. ††  

 

Individual (Increased Rebate for Lower-Income Applicants):

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. ††

o One completed Household Summary Form

o A completed IRS Form 4506-T for every household member age 17 and older 

o Additional documentation may be requested to provide complete details on income and household size 

If an applicant participates in one or more of the public assistance programs on CVRP’s Categorical Eligibility List, they may also submit documentation confirming their participation for consideration by the Administrator. 

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.

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.

 

* For zero Emission Motorcycles, evidence of maintenance free batteries (and sealed if lead-acid) and a 24-month warranty is also required.

† For CVRP Rebate Now preapproval applications, vehicle documentation (purchase/lease agreement and proof of registration) is not required until after the applicant has purchased or leased a vehicle. If the dealership claims the rebate and subtracts the preapproved rebate amount from the vehicle price, the dealership is required to submit these documents on the applicant’s behalf; if the applicant claims the rebate, the applicant is required to submit them in order to receive the rebate payment. 

 †† 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. For applicants selected for income verification and whose most recent tax year transcripts are not available, additional documentation will be required to verify compliance with current income requirements.  Additional documents may include, but are not limited to, paystubs, bank accounts statements, business bank account statements, brokerage account statements and/or summary of benefits.  

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
3980 Sherman Street, Suite 170
San Diego, CA 92110

Note: Documents mailed to the California 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

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)
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 (CARB) 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 (CARB) 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 (CARB) 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.

 

Model Reason Not Eligible/Removed from Eligible Vehicles List
Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric Azure Dynamics is no longer in business, so there is no manufacturer's warranty
BMW 330e Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
BMW 740e Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
BMW ActiveE Lease term was only 24 months
BMW i8 Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
BMW X5 xDrive40e Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Brammo Empulse     Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Brammo Empulse R Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Brammo Enertia Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Brammo Enertia Plus    Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Cadillac CT6 Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Chevrolet Volt (Non-Low Emissions Package) Standard emissions package not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
CODA Sedan CODA is no longer in business, so there is no manufacturer’s warranty
Fisker Karma Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Honda Accord Plug-In Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Honda FCX Clarity Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Honda Fit EV Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Karma Revero Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 350e Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible.*
Mercedes-Benz S-Class 550e Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Mini Cooper SE Countryman All4 Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Porsche Cayenne Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Porsche 918 Spyder Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Porsche Panamera Not certified to the required tailpipe emission standard
Tesla Roadster Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid  Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Toyota RAV4 EV Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*
Volvo XC90 T8 (Model Years 2016-2017) Does not meet minimum 20 mile electric range requirement (implemented November 1, 2016)**
Zero XU Last eligible model year more than two years old; may still be eligible*

*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.

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 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.
  • Have an odometer reading below 7,500 miles at the time of purchase or lease.

*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 at the time of your application, you may still apply and be placed on a rebate waitlist. If funds are available at the time you submit your application, 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 review CVRP eligibility guidelines

Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?

No, vehicles purchased or leased outside of California are not eligible for CVRP.

 

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.

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 CARB 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.

CARB 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, CARB 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.

For Car Shoppers

What are electric vehicles (EVs)?

Electric vehicles include cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and other passenger vehicles powered by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries or an energy storage device. There are four main types: battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). For an in-depth look at the types and differences, visit our Technology Overview.

How do electric vehicles differ from conventional cars?

Unlike standard vehicles that are powered by gasoline and other hydrocarbon fuels, electric vehicles rely on a rechargeable internal battery to provide power to an electric motor and electric drivetrain. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is a blend of these two methods, with both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.

Are there special incentives for low- and moderate-income consumers?

Consumers with household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for an increased rebate amount of $2,000 on top of the standard CVRP rebate. This amounts to

  • $7,000 for fuel cell electric vehicles
  • $4,500 for battery-electric vehicles
  • $3,500 for plug-in hybrid vehicles

For CVRP rebates, a household includes all family members or other unrelated persons, including the rebate applicant, who reside together and share common living expenses.

To determine all the incentives available to you based on where you live, vehicle type, and household income, see our Savings Calculator.

Do I have to buy and install a charging station?

Electric vehicle charging is often done at home using what is referred to as Level 1 or Level 2 charging equipment. All electric vehicles are delivered with a Level 1 charging cord that plugs into a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. For faster charging, there are Level 2 chargers that use a 240-volt electrical outlet—the same plug used by a clothes dryer. Level 2 chargers cost around $400-$800 and may require professional installation. For a more in-depth look at the differences between Level 1 and Level 2 charging options, visit Fueling Options.

How far can electric vehicles go on a single charge?

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can drive 20-60 miles on electricity, whereas most battery-electric vehicles can drive from 100 to more than 300 miles, depending on the vehicle make and model. For hydrogen vehicles, the range is about 250-350 miles on a single fill-up.

Are there special maintenance issues?

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than standard gasoline vehicles and tend to need less maintenance. One issue to be aware of is battery capacity. Though most manufacturers offer an 8-10 year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery, at some point the EV battery capacity will decrease, reducing the range of the vehicle on a full charge. While most vehicle batteries will last the life of the vehicle, replacement batteries can be expensive (if one is needed). However, the overall lower cost of fuel and maintenance over the vehicle’s lifetime may compensate the cost of a new battery.

How does the handling compare to standard gasoline vehicles?

If you like power and quick acceleration, then EVs are right for you. Because of their electric motor and drivetrain, EVs deliver nearly instant maximum torque whereas a standard gasoline vehicle doesn’t reach peak torque until it revs up. Electric vehicles also have improved handling due to a lower center of gravity and almost ideal weight distribution.

What are the environmental impacts of electric vehicles (EVs)?

While hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles still use gas, battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles do not, and as such, do not directly produce any smog-forming, toxic pollutants. California’s electricity grid is one of the greenest in the nation, so when you charge your EV you are fueling it with the cleanest energy available. If you have solar panels on your home, you are driving with an almost net-zero environmental impact.

Dealership Essentials

What are the requirements for CVRP eligibility?
  • The customer must be a California resident
  • The vehicle must be on the Eligible Vehicle Models list
  • The vehicle must be new at time of lease or purchase
  • The vehicle must be owned, operated and registered in California for a minimum of 30 months (original lease term must be at least 30 months)
  • Two rebates per person. Customers may qualify for a third rebate for a fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) if the first 2 rebates were not for FCEVs
  • The customer must meet the income requirements
  • A CVRP application must be submitted within 18 months of vehicle purchase or lease date

For more information, please visit our rebate eligibility guidelines to learn about application requirements, the rebate limit, the CVRP ownership requirement and vehicle eligibility.

What are the income requirements?

Consumers are not eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual incomes are above the thresholds listed below. The income cap applies to all eligible vehicle types except fuel-cell electric vehicles.

  • $150,000 for single filers
  • $204,000 for head-of-household filers
  • $300,000 for joint filers

In determining income based on federal tax returns, the Administrator will review the following sections:

  • On IRS Form 1040: Sum of lines 7-21 (may not equal line 22)
  • Note: Net operating losses carried over from previous years are not included in this calculation.  If line 21 is negative, the corresponding "Statement" filed with your 1040 must be provided.
  • On IRS Form 1040A: Sum of lines 7-14
  • On IRS Form 1040EZ: Line 4

In some situations, more documentation will be requested at the discretion of the Administrator.  Please visit our income eligibility page for more information.

 

Why don’t I see my vehicle on the Eligible Vehicle Models list?

Vehicle manufacturers must apply for CVRP eligibility with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and meet several 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 Models list.

 

Are there any exceptions to the “new” vehicle requirement?

There are three exceptions to the new vehicle requirement:

  • Unwind vehicle – The sale/lease was not consummated and buyer never took delivery
  • Rollback vehicle - Returned to a dealership shortly after being purchased/leased
  • Unregistered dealership demonstrator vehicle

These vehicles must not have been previously registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and must have an odometer reading of less than 7,500 miles. Additional documentation and/or written dealership verification will be requested at the time of application review to determine if a vehicle meets a new vehicle exception.

 

Which situations are not exceptions to the new vehicle requirement?

The following situations are NOT exceptions to the new vehicle requirement:

  • Previously registered dealer demo vehicles
  • Previously registered service loaners
  • Previously registered extended test drive vehicles

Vehicles that have been registered to another party, including the dealership, are considered previously registered vehicles.

 

Are floor model vehicles eligible?

Vehicles previously used as dealership floor models and test drive vehicles are eligible for the rebate only if the vehicles have not been previously registered and have an odometer reading of less than 7,500 miles at the time of purchase.

What happens in a situation with unwind and rollback vehicles?

Unwind and rollback vehicles are eligible for the rebate only if the vehicles have not been previously registered and have an odometer reading of less than 7,500 miles at the time of purchase. Every unwind situation is different, so please contact CVRP immediately if you receive an unwind and we can walk you through the required steps.

If you have received a rebate, can you sell or trade in your vehicle before 30 months?

If a vehicle is traded in before 30 months, the customer must contact the Administrator.

What documents need to be submitted for the application?

Four (4) supporting documents are required to complete your rebate application:

  1. Your signed rebate application form. This form will be available for download on your application status page immediately after successful completion of the online application. It will also be attached to your confirmation email.
  2. A complete copy of your purchase or lease agreement. A complete contract is executed and signed. It includes an itemization of credits, discounts, and incentives received, if applicable, and all information needed to process the application.
  3. A copy of your temporary or permanent vehicle registration. The applicant’s name must be on the registration, and the registration must be current (not expired).
  4. A copy of your California driver’s license.
    1. If a business, proof of California-based business: local business license, articles of incorporation, or other formation document filed with the California Secretary of State.

Please visit our sample supporting documents for examples of required documents.

What is the timeline to receive the CVRP rebate?

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.

Are there any additional incentives for electric vehicles?

There are a number of additional incentives that may be available to you.

Please note: these incentives are separate from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. Please contact the appropriate administrator of the incentive program for more information. CVRP cannot guarantee eligibility in any other incentive program.

 

What are the HOV lane requirements?

Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) Decals - High Occupancy Vehicle HOV Lane Usage. Offered through the California Department of Motor Vehicles, a vehicle that meets specified emissions standards may be issued CAV decals that allow the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in the HOV (carpool or diamond) lanes of California's freeways.

Beginning January 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 544 creates a new decal program to allow certain low emission vehicles to access high-occupancy vehicle lanes, regardless of vehicle occupancy level, for a four-year term. Access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes for vehicles with green and white decals will expire January 1, 2019. Vehicles issued a green or white decal in 2017 or 2018 will be eligible to reapply for a decal in 2019 granting them access to high-occupancy toll lanes until January 1, 2022.

For a vehicle purchased on or after January 1, 2018, the Department of Motor Vehicles cannot issue a clean air decal to an applicant who has received a consumer rebate, nor can an applicant participate in both the Clean Air Decal Program and the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, pursuant to California Vehicle Code (CVC) §5205.5, unless the income restrictions for tax returns fall below: $150,000 for a single person, $204,000 for a head-of-household, and $300,000 for a joint tax return.

In other words, for higher-income consumers that purchase or lease a BEV or PHEV that do not qualify for a CVRP rebate, qualification for the Clean Air Decal should be unaffected. Higher-income consumers that purchase or lease a FCEV, and thus, are currently exempt from the income caps listed above, will not receive a rebate if they have received a Clean Air Decal, and vice versa.

Information and updates regarding California’s Clean Air Decals may be found at: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm.

 

What is the federal tax credit?

Federal tax credits for Zero-Emission 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.

Are there any utility incentives?

Many utility companies offer incentives in the form of rebates and/or time-of-use rates that allow consumers access to lower cost electricity rates by charging their electric vehicle during off-peak hours.

 

How do I know if rebate funds are available?

View real-time CVRP funding availability. If funds are not available at the time of your application, you may still apply and be placed on a rebate waitlist. If funds are available at the time you submit your application, 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.