California 2023 EV Tax Credits Guide [+ Calculate Your Savings]
Steve Birkett is an electric vehicle advocate based in Greater Boston, Massachusetts. He is a content creator and marketing professional who contributes written and recorded pieces to a wide range of media outlets. His analysis has been featured in Find The Best Car Price, WWLP TV, and Torque News, among others. He has also had video content featured on Inside EVs. Birkett was an EV Guide for Plug in America events in Massachusetts (Drive Electric Cambridge and Drive Electric Lowell) and Ohio (Earth Day 2019 at Cleveland Zoo). He participates in quarterly advisory panel meetings for EVolve New York (a state-level charging initiative) and has contributed to focus groups for prominent U.S. charging networks.
Birkett is a father-of-two who loves nothing more than packing up the family and hitting the road in their latest electric car, which is currently a 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5. With multiple Chevy Bolts in his past, as well as a Chevy Volt and Tesla Model 3 LR in the extended family, plus various EV rentals when he ventures back home to his native United Kingdom, Birkett has more than 100,000 all-electric miles under his belt and is always ready to try out a new electric vehicle.
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There’s no denying that electric vehicles (EVs) are expensive, but there are federal and state incentives, such as rebates and tax credits, to make EVs more financially appealing.
Our expert EV advocates are here to walk you through the process while saving you money, especially in California.
So, what state EV incentive programs are in place in California?
Let’s see what current incentives are available in your area and whether or not you qualify for them.
Table of Contents
California EV Savings Calculator
What EV Incentives Are Available in California?
California has the following incentives in place for electric vehicles and associated purchases for charging:
- $2,000 rebate
- Up to $7,500 for lower income
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
Incentives for Purchasing an EV in California
California offers a rebate for up to $7,500 off the purchase of a new electric vehicle.
To qualify, EV buyers must meet the following purchase criteria:
- Be an individual, business, nonprofit, or government entity that is based in California or has a California-based affiliate at the time the rebated vehicle is purchased or leased.
- Meet income eligibility requirements at the time application is received.
- Under $135,000 for individuals, $175,000 for head-of-household, or $200,000 for joint filers.
- Submit a CVRP application prior to the exhaustion of available rebate funds and within 90 calendar days of the vehicle purchase or lease date and while funds are available.
Additional incentives may be available to low-income applicants. Visit this state information site to see if you meet the requirements.
Other EV Incentives Offered in California
California offers the following incentives for electric vehicle charging, maintenance, or related benefits:
- The Consumer Assistance Program provides $1,000 to $1,500 to support the retirement of old, polluting vehicles.
- Beneficial State Bank provides loans at an 8% interest rate or lower to participants of the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program.
- Electric vehicles may use HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle, depending on eligibility.
- The PACE Loss Reserve Program is administered by the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA). It allows property owners in a PACE-designated area to use PACE financing for related home improvements without a down payment and repayment included in their property tax bills.
- Resident EV Charging Incentive Pilot Program is administered on a first-come, first-served basis and provides up to a $250 rebate or the cost paid for the charger, whichever is lower. Low-income residents can qualify for a total rebate of $500 or the cost paid for the charger, whichever is lower
Now that you know what electric vehicle incentives are available in California, what else do you need to know about making the switch to all-electric transportation?
Read our guidance on how to prepare for an EV to make sure the models you’re considering will meet your real-world driving needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle in California?
Yes, there are state-level incentives in place when you purchase an EV in the state of California. New buyers can get up to $7,500 off the purchase of a new electric vehicle and may also qualify for federal EV incentives. Also, check out our picks for the best deals on EVs.
Are there additional fees for purchasing an electric vehicle in California?
Yes, there are additional fees to pay when you purchase an EV in the state of California. A $100 base (with annual increases) registration fee is charged to make up for the tax revenue lost now that you will no longer buy gasoline or diesel.
Does sales tax apply when I buy an EV in California?
Sales tax is applied to electric vehicle purchases in California at the same rate as traditional combustion vehicles. Visit our resource page to find the vehicle sales tax in California.