You might have noticed an increased number of electric vehicles on the road and wondered whether it’s a good time to buy or lease one yourself. In addition to the environmental benefits of an electric vehicle and the fuel savings at the pump, there are also numerous federal and state incentive programs to help with the cost of buying or leasing the vehicle itself.
- Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit: For qualified vehicles purchased in or after 2010, individuals and businesses alike may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7500. Check out the website for qualified vehicles and to find the appropriate IRS forms.
- California Clean Air Decals: These decals give California residents exemption from HOV/HOT lane restrictions. Although the Yellow decal benefit has expired, the California DMV is issuing Red decals for super/ultra low-emission vehicles and vehicles which meet Advanced Technology Partial Emission Vehicle or Transitional Zero-Emission requirements. For additional information on vehicle eligibility, visit the California Air Resources Board’s website.
Access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes for vehicles with Red, Green, and White decals will expire on January 1, 2019. Owners of vehicles issued any of these decals in 2017 or 2018 will be eligible to reapply for a new Clean Air Vehicle decal in 2019 granting them access to high–occupancy toll lanes until January 1, 2022.
- Clean Vehicle Rebate Project: For individuals or business owners purchasing or leasing electric vehicles in the state of California, the CVRP is a certified rebate program which offers rebates up to $2500 for the purchase or lease of a new, eligible zero-emission or plug-in electric vehicle.
- California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP): This program is designed to offset the costs of eligible hybrid and battery-electric medium and heavy duty vehicles through purchase vouchers at qualified dealerships. These vouchers range from $8,500 to $65,000 depending on the type and amount of purchased or leased vehicles. Generally intended for fleet vehicles, all organizations are welcome to apply – public or private!
- PG&E Clean Fuel Rebate: PG&E customers with EVs are eligible to receive a $500 Clean Fuel Rebate for their use of electricity as a clean transportation fuel. To qualify, an individual must be a PG&E customer with an active residential electric account, own or lease an eligible plug-in electric vehicle, and the vehicle must not have already received the Clean Fuel Rebate.
And, if you are worried about running out of charge while driving a plug-in electric vehicle in Contra Costa County, there are plenty of electric vehicle charging stations available for public use.