It’s no secret that motor vehicle emissions are one of the main sources of pollution in the state of California and one of the leading causes of climate change in the country. Californians collectively drive over a billion miles every day, releasing tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) and pollutants into the air. The only way to avoid more expensive and disruptive climate changes is to significantly reduce these emissions. So, if you’re looking to do your part to stop climate change, your vehicle is a great place to start.

By switching from a gas to an electric vehicle, the average American can reduce their individual carbon footprint by over 25%, helping the U.S. toward our goal of cutting GHG by 50% by 2030 to avert the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis. California, like the rest of the world, has already begun to experience these effects, from rising sea levels to rampant wildfires. But the state is looking to lower its impact on climate change.

To accomplish this, California has introduced a number of tax credits, rebates, and grants aimed at reducing air pollution and encouraging California drivers to make the switch to low-emission or no-emission vehicles. These incentive programs, which include EV rebates, tax-free grants, and rewards for retiring older high-emission cars and trucks, are part of a long-term plan to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Motor Vehicle Emissions at a Glance:

  • California produces more than 1,000 tons of pollutants and more than 534,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every day.
  • The state’s 22 million passenger cars and light trucks make up 21% of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions and 58% of PM2.5 air pollution in the state.
  • NOx causes acid rain and chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma.
  • PM2.5 is particulate matter that causes premature deaths.
  • 93% of Californians live in areas that fail to meet health-based federal or state air quality standards.
  • Black and Latino communities are exposed to 43% and 39% more deadly PM2.5 air pollution than white Californians.

Making Electric Vehicles More Affordable: EV Life

When it comes to buying a car, you shouldn’t have to choose between saving the planet and saving money. EV Life is on a mission to make it more affordable for you to drive an electric vehicle than a gas vehicle. We help drivers take every available tax credit, rebate, and grant available to them to offset the cost of an EV and apply that money to a low-interest EV Climate Loan to finance their purchase.

Rather than waiting 6-18 months to benefit from their electric vehicle incentives, our EV Climate Loans enable customers to finance incentives at point-of-purchase, saving an average of $200/month on loan payments.

There’s never been a better time to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the pump by making the switch to an electric vehicle. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the programs that may help Californians significantly reduce the starting cost of a new EV.

California EV rebates

California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) promotes the production and use of zero-emission vehicles, offering EV rebates between $1,000 and $7,500 for the purchase or lease of electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles.

To apply for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project rebate, drivers should first check the list of eligible vehicles to ensure their desired make and model are covered by the program. Candidates are also subject to eligibility requirements related to income and the availability of program funds.

The terms and conditions of the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project are updated every six months, so be sure to check the most recent version to ensure you meet the proper CVRP eligibility requirements.

California EV Grants

California’s Clean Vehicle Assistance Program provides grants for low-income residents to purchase or lease clean EVs, including plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Californians living in disadvantaged communities (DAC), which are classified based on community exposure and vulnerability to pollution, among other factors, can receive grants of up to $5,000 to be used toward the purchase of an electric vehicle.

CVA Applicants must be California residents, meet income qualifications and minimum vehicle purchase requirements, and complete online financing and advanced technology training to qualify. Grants can only be used at approved dealerships on the CVA program dealership list.

Once the purchase contract and other paperwork is finalized, the dealership will send it in and the CVA will send the grant payment to the dealership to be applied to your purchase. It’s also important to note that some dealerships may hold the vehicle pending delivery of the grant money, which can take several months.

Incentives for retiring older gas-powered vehicles

California will even pay you to get your old gas guzzler off the road. The Clean Cars 4 All program helps eligible lower-income consumers switch to EVs by retiring their older, higher-polluting vehicles and upgrading to cleaner ones. Residents of the Bay Area, South Coast Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento area who meet income and vehicle eligibility requirements may qualify to receive a rebate of up to $9,500 toward the purchase of a new or used plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, or fuel cell electric vehicle.

The Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) also offers repair assistance and vehicle retirement options meant to lower the state’s emissions. Under CAP, California residents that meet income eligibility requirements can receive up to $1,500 to retire their vehicle. Californians cannot receive money from more than one vehicle retirement program, so be sure to check your eligibility and apply for the program that will get you the best value for your situation.

Local EV Incentives

In addition to state-sponsored programs and the federal tax credit outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act, there are also numerous municipal incentives that can help eligible residents purchase or lease a new or used electric vehicle. Local incentives include electric vehicle rebates, buybacks, and scrap programs, EV charger installation rebates, free EV charging locations, carpool and express lane decals, toll discounts, and more!

The California Air Resources Board has compiled a list of local programs on the DriveCleanCa website.

EV Life: putting your California EV incentives to work for you

As you can see, there are plenty of state and local programs available to assist California drivers in their purchase of an electric vehicle. EV Life can help you find and apply for the tax credits, incentives, and rebates you qualify for, then immediately put the money to good use financing your EV.

Instead of waiting 6-18 months to get your tax credits and rebates back, our EV Climate Loan enables you to apply your EV tax credits and rebates directly to your loan, upfront, potentially lowering your payments by up to $200/month.  

To take advantage of an EV Climate Loan:

·      Select your preferred electric vehicle and enter your personal qualifications to find out which tax credits, rebates, and grants you and your EV are eligible for.

·      Once you pre-qualify in minutes, EV Life will immediately apply your incentives to your EV Climate loan as an incremental down payment.

·      You can then use your EV Climate Loan to purchase your EV at nearly any online or in-person dealership, ensuring you get the exact model, features, and deal you want.

Once you’re behind the wheel of your new zero-emission vehicle, EV Life helps you automate the application process for your federal, state, and local incentives—totaling $10,000, on average—then applies them directly to your loan. That’s how easy it is to save on your new EV!

Want to see how much you could save on your EV?
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