January 31, 2024

California's EV Rebates and EV Charging Incentives

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12 Min. Read

California is taking a groundbreaking approach to tackling environmental challenges with a plan to become a carbon-neutral state by 2045.

A significant part of this plan consists of phasing out new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales by 2035. California offers incentives for electric vehicles to make ownership more attractive. The state is also creating more charging stations to help electric car owners charge their vehicles easily.

California’s EV Rebates and EV Charging Incentives

California EV incentives have played a crucial role in supporting high rates of EV adoption in the Golden State. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is a significant California EV rebate that helps cover the initial purchase or lease of a clean vehicle with a $1,000 to $7,500 rebate, in addition to federal incentives and updated tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act.

There are also EV charger installation incentives available for eligible residents and businesses across the state, helping to further support at-home EV charger installation and a robust public and private EV charging infrastructure. While federal and state-wide programs exist, individual utilities may also offer discounted kWh rates, credits for EV charger installation, purchasing an EV charger, or other benefits for EV charging and installation.

Commercial fleets can also qualify for grants at the state level, and the California EV rebate can be combined with the federal tax credit to save even more.

Additionally, the Consumer Assistance Program’s (CAP) vehicle retirement option offers eligible consumers an incentive to retire their operational vehicle. Consumers meeting the income eligibility requirement may receive $1,500 for each vehicle retired. All other vehicle owners may receive $1,000 to retire their vehicle at a BAR-contracted dismantler.

Important Local EV Rebates to Know About

Local rebates can typically be combined with state and federal programs to further offset the cost of purchasing an EV. For instance, El Dorado County residents can apply for an additional California EV rebate of $599, while the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District offers a California EV rebate of up to $3,000 to new EV owners.

California EV Rebates from Utilities

Utilities in California have their own electrification programs for energy transition technologies such as electric vehicles and EV chargers, which can include preferred TOU rates for EV charging or other rebates, so be sure to check with your local utility to see what programs or offerings are available.

Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) provides rebates of up to $4,000 for the purchase of a pre-owned EV with a purchase price below $40,000. Income-qualifying customers may receive an additional $2,000 rebate. For more information see the AMP EV website.

Burbank Water and Power (BWP) offers residential customers a rebate of up to $1,000 for the purchase of a pre-owned EV. For more information see the BWP Used EV Rebate website.

Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) offers rebates of up to $4,000 to residential, commercial, and public agency customers for the purchase of new or pre-owned EVs or electric motorcycles. CCCE also offers a rebate of up to $10,000 for Level 2 EV charging stations installed at homes or workplaces. For more information see the CCCE Electrify Your Ride website.

MCE offers a $3,500 rebate for the purchase or lease of a new EV or PHEV and a $2,000 rebate for the purchase or lease of a pre-owned EV or PHEV for residential customers. To be eligible for the rebate, applicants must live in MCE’s service area, be an MCE customer, and meet at least one of the qualifying income requirements. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the MCE EV Rebates website.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers residential customers a rebate of $1,000 for the purchase of a pre-owned EV. Low-income residents are eligible for a rebate of up to $4,000. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information see the PG&E Drive Forward Electric website.

Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) provides rebates of $250 to residential customers who purchase or lease an eligible new or pre-owned EV. An additional $250 is available for eligible EVs purchased or leased from a Pasadena dealership. Customers participating in PWP’s income-qualifying programs may also qualify for an additional $1,000 rebate, for a total of $1,500. Customers may receive rebates for up to 2 EVs per address every 3 years. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information see the PWP Residential EV and Charger Incentive Program website.

With SCE’s Pre-Owned EV Rebate, you could receive a $1,000 or $4,000 rebate based on household income. Apply within 180 days from the purchase or lease of a pre-owned EV to determine your eligibility.

Utility EV Charger Rebates for California Residents

For those interested in at-home Level 2 EV charging, several utilities are facilitating increased access to EV charging by offering incentives in the form of rebates on the purchase of charging equipment or toward EV charger installation costs. California EV charger rebates from utilities range from as little to $150 to up to $15,000. Scroll down to view more details for specific utility providers in CA.

Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) provides rebates to residential, commercial, and multifamily customers for the purchase of Level 2 EV charging stations. $500 for residential, $6,000 for commercial and $8,000 for multifamily. See the AMP EV program page for details.

Anaheim Public Utilities (APU) provides rebates for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers for the purchase and installation of Level 2 or direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations. A $1,500 rebate is available for residential Level 2 charging stations. The program has limited funding and is scheduled to reopen July 1,2024. See the APU EV Rebate Program website for details and limitations.

Azusa Light & Water offers a $150 rebate to customers for the purchase of an ENERGY STAR certified Level 2 EV charging station. For more information see Azusa’s EVs website.

Burbank Water and Power (BWP) provides rebates to commercial and residential customers toward the purchase of Level 2 EV charging stations. Residential customers may receive a rebate of up to $500 to purchase and install a Level 2 charging station. Commercial or multi-unit dwelling customers may receive up to $15,000 for the purchase and installation of Level 2 or direct current fast charging stations. Learn more on the BWP Rebates and Incentives page.

Glendale Water and Power (GWP) provides rebates to commercial and residential customers toward the purchase of Level 2 EV charging stations. Commercial or multi-unit dwelling customers who purchase and install EV charging stations can receive up to $6,000 for each charger and up to four rebates. Residential customers who install a charger can receive up to $599. Applications must be submitted no later than four months from the date of purchase. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. For program guidelines and application materials see the GWP Electric Vehicles website.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers a rebate of up to $1,000 for the purchase and installation of qualified Level 2 EV charging stations, and a $250 rebate for the installation of a dedicated EV charging station meter. Customers participating in LADWP Lifeline or EZ-SAVE Low-Income Customer Assistance programs are eligible for an additional $500 rebate. For more information, including program guidelines and application materials see the LADWP Charge Up L.A.! website.

Under the Liberty EV Charger Rebate Program, customers receive rebates to offset the cost of installing smart EV chargers. Rebates are available to residential and small business customers. Liberty’s home charging rebate helps EV owners to install powerful, smart home chargers with a rebate of up to $1,500. Small businesses can attract new business and show their commitment to clean transportation and receive an incentive of up to $2,500.

MCE provides rebates of up to $3,000 for the purchase and installation of qualifying Level 2 EV charging stations at MUDs and workplaces in MCE territory, up to $60,000 per site. Customers that are enrolled in the MCE Deep Green program may be eligible for an additional $500 rebate per port, up to $10,000 per site. For more information, including how to apply and eligible EV charging stations see the MCE EV Rebates website.

Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) provides rebates of $600 for residential customers toward the installation of a WiFi enabled EV charging station, or $200 toward the installation of a non-WiFi enabled EV charging stations. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, including how to apply, see the PWP Residential EV and Charger Incentive Program website.

With PG&E’s Residential Charging Solutions Rebate for income-eligible households, qualifying households may receive a $700 rebate on PG&E-approved EV charging equipment. Equipment must be from PG&E’s pre-approved equipment list and purchased on or after November 17, 2023. Only the products listed under “Eligible equipment” are currently eligible for the rebate. Each customer household, represented by an individual residential PG&E Electric Service Agreement ID, is only eligible to receive one rebate.

Qualified Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) customers are eligible to receive a free Level 2 EV charging station with Wi-Fi capabilities. Customers are responsible for shipping and installation costs. Customers may also receive $5 per month for connecting the EV charging station to the GridSavvy Rewards program. Other terms and conditions may apply. For more information see the SCP GridSavvy website.

Southern California Edison (SCE) customers can upgrade EV charging capacity at home, so your EV is ready to go when you are. With SCE’s Charge Ready Home Rebate Program, you can qualify for up to $4,200 in rebates if you install a Level 2 EV charger within 120 days of getting your EV. See program website for details.

On a non-residential level, SCE’s Charge Ready Program offers customer rebates for businesses, government organizations, and multifamily properties to install EV charging stations at business, public sector, or multifamily dwelling locations. Rebate amounts vary, and sites located in disadvantaged communities are eligible for additional rebates. For more information, including eligibility requirements and funding availability, see the SCE Charge Ready Program website.

Turlock Irrigation District (TID) offers residential customers a $500 rebate for the purchase or lease of a qualifying new or pre-owned EV. TID also offers residential customers a rebate of $300 for the purchase and installation of a qualifying Level 2 EV charging station.

Low-income customers enrolled in the TID CARES Program are eligible for an additional rebate of $700 per EV and $100 per EV charging station. Up to two rebates may be claimed for EVs and EV charging stations per residential account. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the TID Residential EV Rebates and CARES Program pages.

Managed Charging & Time Of Use EV Charging Incentives

Time-of-use (TOU) rate plans offer lower electricity costs during off-peak hours like overnight. Below is a list of TOU rate plans available from California’s leading utilities.

Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) offers a TOU rate to customers that own or lease an EV. For more information see the AMP Electric Vehicles website.

Azusa Light & Water offers a $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) discount for electricity used to charge EVs during off peak times. Customers must use a minimum of 50 kWh to receive the discount. For more information see the Azusa Light & Water Schedule EV website.

Burbank Water and Power (BWP) offers a TOU rate to residential or multi-family customers for electricity used to charge EVs. Customers must remain on the EV TOU rate for a minimum of one year. For more information see the BWP EVs website.

Liberty Utilities offers residential and commercial customers TOU rates for charging EVs. For more information, see the Liberty Utilities EV Program website. Liberty’s Time-of-Use (TOU) rate lowers the cost of energy during off peak hours, so customers who can leave their cars plugged in overnight can benefit most. See the full details on the TOU-EV rate page.

MCE offers residential customers an incentive of $50 for enrolling in MCE’s managed charging program. Participants in this program may receive a monthly rebate of up to $10. MCE Sync automatically charges your EV during the cheapest off-peak hours, based on your electricity rate, and passes the savings back to you. For more information, including participation and eligibility requirements, see the MCE EV Smart Charging App website.

Additionally, MCE offers multi-unit dwelling, and workplace customers TOU rates for charging EVs. EV drivers can save significantly on charging costs by charging outside peak hours (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.). For even more savings, consider choosing MCE’s residential EV rate (EV2). Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information see the MCE EV Rate Plans website.

Register your EV on your Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) account to receive a 1.5¢ discount on all electric usage between midnight and 6 AM. For a SMUD account to receive the EV rate credit, a plug-in electric vehicle must be registered with the DMV using the same service address as the SMUD account. Learn more on the SMUD Residential Electric Vehicles page.

SMUD is also rewarding drivers for charging EVs when it’s best for the electricity grid and when it allows us to use more renewable energy, working with automakers to test how it can help Sacramento-area customers charge their electric vehicles at times of day when energy demand is low. Current participating automakers include: BMW, Ford, General Motors and Tesla (via Optiwatt).

Once your vehicle has been connected to the communication platform and SMUD has verified eligibility, you’ll be eligible to receive participation rewards. Participants will receive a one-time, initial incentive and also a quarterly reward payment. Learn more on the Managed EV Charging page.

San Diego Gas & Electric offers the EV-TOU-5 plan for customers to charge electric vehicles at home during off-peak times. Pricing is based on how much electricity you use and when, with three pricing periods. This plan could be a good fit if you can shift some of your electricity use away from the on-peak hours of 4-9 p.m. and you can regularly charge an electric vehicle during the super off-peak period late at night.

Upcoming California EV Rebates & Incentives

The current California EV rebate is being phased out and will soon be replaced by the Clean Cars 4 All program.

This new incentive would award up to $7,500 to low-income residents, with some families qualifying for as much as $12,000 by replacing an older ICE car with a ZEV. These savings can still be combined with other programs for even greater savings on purchasing an electric vehicle.

Other Electrification Incentives in California

As a California resident, you can qualify for additional incentives designed to support a greener future. For instance, you can earn up to $3 per watt for installing solar panels through the California Solar Initiative.

If you’re interested in battery storage, you can also get a rebate through the Self-Generation Incentive Program offered by the California Public Utilities Commission, and you may be able to get up to $1,000 through a qualified contractor for the installation of a heat pump.

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Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network