CVRP update

by Ernie Hernandez on October 17, 2011

$15 million to be released soon

At the National Plug In Day celebration in San Diego, the California Center for Sustainable Energy provided an informative update on the status of the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).

For those unfamiliar with the project, for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the project was funded with $5 million with the purpose of providing a $5,000 rebate to promote the purchase of zero emission vehicles. When the Nissan LEAF was launched in late 2010, LEAF owners were expected to be the largest group of beneficiaries, as no other major manufacturer had plans of producing a zero emission vehicle. As LEAF production ramped up, this came to be the case and the fund ran out prior to the end of the fiscal year.

Reviewing the situation, the California Air Resources Board (the funding authority), saw the enthusiasm with which electric vehicles (EVs) were greeted in California and trebled the funding from $5 million to $15 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year while reducing the amount of the rebate from $5,000 per vehicle to $2,500 per vehicle. And while all good Californians would rather have $5,000 than $2,500, the obvious result is that the new math would provide incentives to roughly six times as many Californians as had been impacted the previous year. We say roughly because other zero emission vehicles also qualify, such as zero emission motorcycles and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs).

Admittedly, we had not tracked this closely since we acquired our LEAF and had received our rebate. We realize now that we may have been among the fortunate few. The funds ran out prior to the end of the fiscal year, and all new applicants have been placed on a waiting list for the release of the next wave of funding. As with all things governmental, we appreciate that the process takes longer than almost anyone thinks that it should. That said, we did get some information that may be useful if your application has been submitted but you have not received your rebate. The following information was presented regarding distribution of CVRP funds to pending applicants:

Month application received by CCSE Funds to be released on
June November 14
July November 21
August November 28
September December 5
October December 12
November December 19

When we submitted our rebate application in March, we were amazed at the quick turnaround. While we have no insight into the process, we will offer that the CCSE personnel take their job of administering the distribution of these funds seriously, and are extremely efficient at what they do. We would not be surprised if you were to see your rebate checks within two weeks of the above noted release dates. You should also note that six months of backlog will be caught up in just over one month – remarkable progress by anyone’s standard.

Other information presented during the presentation – San Diegans submitted over 625 of the 3,900+ rebate applications (or over 15%) processed in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Look for an update on the EV Project, at least in San Diego, in tomorrow’s post.

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