Next week, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a public workshop on the FY 2016-17 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels Investments and AQIP. Under the current proposal, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) would receive $230 million in funding through 2017.
Earlier this month we reported on a significant change in the CVRP that will be effective this week. The rebates will be increasing for low- and moderate-income drivers, while it will also introduce a cap for high-income drivers.
The new CVRP program will receive about half of ARB’s $500 million in funding for Low Carbon Transportation.
ARB released a discussion document for the upcoming public workshop (via Green Car Congress):
The program has been heavily criticized in the past for providing subsidies to high income Californians. The new budget and restrictions are clearly intended to mitigate those criticisms.
According to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), the CVRP has issued more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,200 vehicles since 2010. It will be interesting see how those statistics will change with the new income restrictions on the program and of course, the new electric vehicles coming to market in the next few months.
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‘advanced technology demonstration projects’ – hydrogen fuel stations at $1m a piece?
Let’s be frank here. All of these tiered incentive programs operate under the same false assumption: if you purchase an expensive vehicle, you must be inherently wealthy and not really need access to incentives. This is demonstrably untrue and designed to capitalize on the bitterness that exists between the upper and lower classes (most of which is justified, BTW).
All programs like this do is funnel people towards certain vehicles (those that qualify for the incentive) while discouraging them from buying others that don’t qualify. Seems like market-shaping to me. One might be tempted to think there’s an agenda at work here since certain OEM’s stand to benefit much more than others from programs like this.
I am not wealthy, but neither am I poor. I purchased a Tesla Model S (a vehicle worth double my annual salary) because it was the best vehicle for me. It offered features that I care about. It was worth investing in. Why should I be denied access to incentives for choosing the best vehicle?
If you truly purchased a vehicle worth double your annual salary (uh, wow, bad decision unless you are independently wealthy), you should have no problem qualifying for the incentive. The incentives are based on income, not the vehicle.