California EV incentive is getting smaller in November

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A California incentive for plug-in cars is about to be reduced by half.

Effective November 2, the California Clean Fuel Reward (CCFR) for electric cars and plug-in hybrids will go from $1,500 to $750. The program, as recently noted by CarsDirect, requires delivery of a qualifying vehicle by November 1 if buyers want to claim the larger amount.

Launched in November 2020, the CCFR is a point-of-sale rebate, so it\’s applied immediately. That differs from the separate California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), which requires a separate application after purchasing or leasing a vehicle.

The CCFR also doesn\’t have the CVRP\’s income and purchase-price caps, and awards the same amount to both electric cars and plug-in hybrids. That means it\’s theoretically possible for a Bentley Bentayga Hybrid to net the same discount as a Nissan Leaf, CarsDirect pointed out.

2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus

While the CVRP has run out of cash periodically, leading to waiting lists, that doesn\’t appear to be the reason the CCFR is being reduced. The program\’s website said \”This is a natural change to ensure sustainability of the program while continuing to support the EV industry.\”

California is still planning to phase out the sale of new internal-combustion light vehicles by 2035, with incentives likely continuing to play a role in smoothing out that transition.

Meanwhile, a number of federal incentives on EVs, including a revamped and expanded EV tax credit, remain under debate.

Which leads to the question: Should you buy now or wait for an expanded EV tax credit?

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