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Bill seeks to limit electric vehicle rebates to low-income Californians


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Legislation authored by Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) would put a cap on who is eligible to receive a state rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle based on income.  

A recent survey from the Center for Sustainable Energy, which administers the state rebate program, shows the close to four-fifths of the state rebates went to families making $100,000 a year or more, prompting De Leon to draft Senate Bill 1275.

Environmental groups support the bill, which will head to the Assembly’s appropriations committee. Its deadline for passage is August 31.

To spur EV adoption, California gives out up to $2,500 rebate per car. Federally, EV buyers can also receive a $7,500 federal tax credit.  

Would capping the state rebate to low- and lower-income drivers hurt EV sales? If you currently drive an EV, were rebates a big reason behind your decision to make the switch? If you don’t currently own one, what would help you take the plunge?


Ethan Elkind, Associate Director of the Climate Change and Business Program, a joint program between UCLA and UC Berkeley schools of law. He is the author of “Railtown” which looks at the history of the LA Metro Rail system (UC Press, 2014).