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Published on September 10th, 2016 | by James Ayre


California OKs $133 Million For Clean Energy Vehicle Program (Part Of Last-Minute $900 Million Cap & Trade Revenue Deal)

September 10th, 2016 by  

bmw-i3-white-cali-fl-2As part of a last-minute $900 million cap-and-trade revenue allocation deal, $133 million in new funding for the state’s clean energy vehicle program has been approved by the Californian legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, according to recent reports.

This is good news for those who thought it prudent to put their names on the waiting list for the program, despite it being out of funds as of late. There are changes being made to the program in conjunction with the new funding that may affect some people, though. In particular, eligibility will be limited to those who have an income below $150,000 (single filers) or $300,000 (joint filers). The previous limits were $250,000 for single filers, and $500,000 for joint filers.

The changes will go into effect on November 1st, according to the Department of Finance.

The deal was announced on the last day of the state’s legislative session by Governor Brown, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount, Los Angeles County), and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), so it was a bit unexpected for some.

Following the revelation of the deal, a few hours later, the Legislature passed AB1613 — with bill provisions included. The Assembly passed the bill 43–15, and the Senate passed it 23–12.

In a public statement on the matter, Governor Brown noted that: “California’s combatting climate change on all fronts and this plan gets us the most bang for the buck. It directs hundreds of millions where it’s needed most — to help disadvantaged communities, curb dangerous super pollutants and cut petroleum use — while saving some for the future.”

Here’s a bit more via SF Gate: “The rebates range from $900 for a zero-emission motorcycle to $5,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The deal also includes $80 million to drivers who turn in high-emission vehicles that can’t pass a smog check, with those additional rebates ranging from $5,500 to $9,500, depending on the person’s income. The larger rebates would go to consumers who turn in a high-emission vehicle and replace it with a low-emission one.”

The change in eligibility requirements for the program has been widely expected, following criticism that the program was being used by very wealthy people to buy Teslas (often their third, fourth, fifth, etc. vehicle) that they could easily afford on their own.

After all, paying taxes so that someone making a third of a million dollars a year could get help buying a luxury car is likely to leave a bad taste for most.

(Hat tip to Jeff Cobb.)


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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