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EV Charging Incentives Guide

Discover incentives and rebates available to offset the cost of installing a home EV charging station in this guide to electric vehicle charging incentives.

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Peter Glenn

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) has been nothing short of meteoric in recent years. As the world becomes increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of traditional gasoline-powered cars, more and more drivers are making the switch to electric. And it's easy to see why—EVs not only reduce your carbon footprint, but they also offer significant financial savings in the long run. With no gas expenses and lower maintenance costs, electric vehicles can save owners thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the car.

However, the upfront cost of purchasing an EV, as well as the added expense of installing charging infrastructure, can be a barrier for some consumers. Fortunately, there are a variety of incentives and rebates available to help offset these costs and make the transition to electric vehicle ownership more accessible. In this guide, we'll explore the different EV charging incentives and savings opportunities that can help you maximize the benefits of driving electric.

Charging Your Electric Vehicle

Charging Challenges

Owning an electric vehicle (EV) comes with many benefits, but one of the most significant challenges is charging. While public EV charging networks are growing, the convenience and reliability of home charging stations make them an essential part of the EV ownership experience. However, the upfront cost of installing a home charger can be expensive, with many home EV charging stations involving changes to your electric infrastructure, the purchase of pricey equipment, and increases to your electrical bill.

Public Charging Networks vs Home Charging Stations

Public EV charging stations are becoming more widely available, but they are not always conveniently located or reliable. Home charging stations, on the other hand, provide the ultimate convenience, allowing you to charge your vehicle overnight in the comfort of your own garage or driveway. This ensures your EV is ready to go whenever you need it without having to plan your schedule around public EV charging availability.

From Tax Credits to Rebates: How to Maximize Your Savings on Electric Vehicle Charging

Fortunately, there are a variety of incentives and rebates available to help offset the cost of installing a home charging station. These programs can save you thousands of dollars, making it more affordable to take advantage of the benefits of home EV charging. We’re going to explore the different incentives and rebates available, particularly in California, so you can maximize your savings.

Available EV Charging Incentives for California Drivers

While numerous federal, state, and local charging incentives are available across the country, California is leading the way. The state government and many private entities have programs that provide significant savings for drivers looking to make the switch to electric. Let’s take a look at some of the federal, state, and local incentives out there.

EV Charging Station Rebates

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

The Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit is a federal program that provides a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of installing a qualified residential or commercial EV charging station. The maximum credit is $1,000 for residential installations and $30,000 for commercial installations.

PACE Loss Reserve Program

The PACE Loss Reserve Program is a California-based initiative that helps homeowners finance the installation of energy-efficient home improvements, including EV charging stations, through property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. This program can provide significant cost savings and make it more accessible for homeowners to install a home charger.

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Utility Company Incentives for Electric Vehicles

Many utility companies across the country offer incentives and rebates to encourage the adoption of EV charging infrastructure. These programs can help offset the cost of installing a home charger and make it more affordable for EV owners.

Empower EV Program

The Empower EV Program, offered by PG&E, provides rebates of up to $2,500 to income-eligible households for the installation of a Level 2 EV charger in a single-family home. Here are some of the program’s details:

  • PG&E will provide one free Level 2 charger valued at $500 (hardwires or plugs into 220+ Volt outlet).
  • PG&E will cover up to $2,000 per single-family household for panel upgrades completed by Synergy Companies, the program’s licensed electricians.
  • No cost to enroll.
  • Program offerings are administered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Residential Charging Solutions Rebate

The Residential Charging Solutions Rebate, also offered by PG&E, can provide up to $700 in savings on the purchase and installation costs of a Level 2 EV charger for your home. Here are some of the program’s details:

  • A $700 rebate on EV charging equipment for residential customers who meet income eligibility and other requirements.
  • Equipment must be from PG&E’s pre-approved list and must be purchased on or after November 17, 2023.
  • Installations must be completed by a licensed California electrician, where applicable.
  • Rebates are administered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Limited to one rebate per eligible household.
  • No cost to apply.
  • Note: The rebate applicant's name and address must match the equipment's proof of purchase receipt, income verification documents, and the vehicle owner's or lessee's name and address.

Vehicle to Everything Bidirectional Incentive

Some utilities, like PG&E, are now offering incentives for bidirectional charging, which allows your EV to serve as a backup power source for your home. The Vehicle to Everything Bidirectional Incentive can provide additional savings for homeowners who install this technology. Here are some details about the program:

  • New bidirectional charger technology allows you to use the power in your electric vehicle's battery for your home.
  • Power your property temporarily when there is an electrical outage.
  • Charge your vehicle when electricity is less expensive and use vehicle power when it’s more expensive (4-9 p.m.).
  • Earn additional incentives by sending electricity to the grid during times of high demand.

CCFA Charger Rebate

If you’re located in the Bay Area and participate in the Clean Cars for All program, you may also be eligible for the CCFA Charger Rebate, which offers up to $2,000 in additional funding toward level 2 home charger installation costs and up to $1,000 for a level 2 portable charger for your new, used, or leased plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Electricity Discounts

In addition to upfront incentives and rebates, many utility companies also offer discounted electricity rates for EV owners who charge their vehicles at home. These electricity discounts can result in significant long-term savings on your fuel costs.

Electric Vehicle Rate Plans

Utility companies like PG&E provide specialized rate plans for EV owners. These plans offer lower per-kilowatt-hour rates during off-peak hours when most EV charging occurs. The reduced rates can help you save money on your electricity bills and make home EV charging even more cost-effective.

For example, PG&E offers three electric vehicle rate plans for residential customers:

  • EV2-A combines your vehicle's electricity costs with those of your residence but offers special rates.
  • EV-B involves the installation of another meter, which separates and reduces your vehicle's electricity costs from those of your home's electricity usage.
  • E-ELEC is ideal if you electrify your home with an electric vehicle (EV), battery storage, electric heat pump for water heating, or climate control (space heating or cooling). It includes a $15-per-month Base Services Charge and lower kWh prices compared to some other rate plans.

Other Ways to Save: Federal and State EV Incentives

Federal Tax Credit

In addition to the incentives and rebates for home EV charging stations, there are also federal and state-level incentives available for the purchase of electric vehicles. The Federal Clean Vehicle Tax Credit outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act, for example, provides a tax credit of up to $7,500 for new EVs or $4,000 for used EVs.

California EV Incentives

California, a leader in EV adoption, offers a variety of incentives for potential EV buyers, including:

  • Clean Cars for All helps eligible income-qualified applicants 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.
  • Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) offers repair assistance and vehicle retirement options aimed at lowering the state’s emissions. Under CAP, California residents who meet income eligibility requirements can receive up to $1,500 to retire their vehicle.
  • Also located in the Bay Area, the Vehicle Buy Back Program offers to take older, high-polluting vehicles off the road that would otherwise remain in operation. Eligible vehicles 1998 or older are purchased and scrapped by approved Air District dismantlers, Environmental Engineering Studies, and Pick-n-Pull. If your gas-powered vehicle meets all program requirements, the dismantler will provide you with a $1,200 check.

Make the Most of Your EV Incentives With EV Life

At EV Life, we understand the importance of making electric vehicle ownership accessible and affordable. That's why we offer flexible financing options that allow you to take advantage of the various incentives and rebates available, making it easier to install a home EV charging station and purchase your dream EV. Here’s how it works:

  • Pre-qualify for more than financing. When you pre-qualify for an EV Climate Loan, EV Life helps you maximize your federal tax credit and other state and local incentives for which you’re eligible—including any and all available home EV charging incentive programs. We’ll then help you apply for all the necessary paperwork with our easy-to-use “Turbo Tax-style” incentive filing tools.
  • Bundle charging. EV Life can also help you get an instant quote for EV charging equipment installation that fits your incentive eligibility and bundle it into your auto financing—all with one lower monthly payment.
  • All in one low payment. Once we’ve determined all the free money you’re eligible for, EV Life will gather all your savings and apply them directly to your loan, significantly reducing the monthly payment from the moment you drive off the lot.

Key Takeaways

  • Home EV charging stations provide the ultimate convenience for EV owners, but the upfront cost can be significant.
  • Numerous incentives and rebates, including federal, state, and utility-based programs, are available to help offset the cost of installing a home EV charger.
  • By taking advantage of these savings opportunities, EV owners can significantly reduce the cost of home EV charging and make the transition to electric vehicles more affordable.
  • In addition to EV charging incentives, there are also federal and state-level incentives available for the purchase of electric vehicles.
  • EV Life offers flexible financing options to help you take advantage of these incentives and rebates, making electric vehicle ownership more accessible than ever.

Get pre-qualified and start saving both the planet—and your wallet—today.

Maximize your savings with hassle-free EV financing

We're on a mission to make buying an EV easier and more affordable than a gas car

Maximize your savings with hassle-free EV financing

We're on a mission to make buying an EV easier and more affordable than a gas car

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