• The electric vehicle revolution is happening, and it’s happening fast. With recent news like the Biden administration planning on fully replacing the US government fleet with electric vehicles and CA Governor Gavin Newsome pledging to ban all sales of gas-run vehicles by 2035, the future looks very bright for EV’s. The great thing is that, to meet the lofty goals set by both state and local governments, there are lots of financial incentives to buy EV’s that make them even more attractive in SDG&E territory. Let’s take a look at the incentives available in SDG&E territory, and how you can take advantage of them to get ahead of the EV curveCalifornia Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)

  • California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)

    What is the CVRP?

    The California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project promotes clean vehicle adoption by offering rebates to California residents who purchase EV’s. Based on fund availability, eligible CA residents can apply for a CVRP rebate after buying an eligible EV. 

    The CVRP is administered by the Centers for Sustainable Energy for the California Air Resources Board, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). CalEPA, much like the federal EPA, exists to protect the environment of California through the reduction of air pollution, while also considering the effect of such measures on the economy.

    Who is eligible for the CVRP?

    Eligibility requirements for CVRP are pretty simple. They are:

    • Be a California resident or California business
    • Meet income eligibility requirements
    • Submit an application before available rebate funds are exhausted, and within 3 months of purchasing or leasing the vehicle

    CVRP Eligible Vehicles

    Different types of clean vehicles are eligible, including hydrogen fuel-cell, battery electric, plug-in hybrid EV's, and zero-emission motorcycles. A full list can be found on the CVRP website here.

    CVRP Rebate Amounts

    Rebates differ based on the type of vehicle. Fuel-cell vehicles can receive a $4,500 rebate right now, battery electric vehicles can receive a $2,000 rebate, hybrid vehicles can receive $1,000, and zero-emission motorcycles can receive $750. There are also increased rebates for those that are financially eligible.

    CVRP Pre-approval for Rebates for San Diego Residents

    San Diego County residents in particular can actually get preapproved for rebates to help them pay for their electric vehicle at the time of purchase. The program, called San Diego County – CVRP Rebate Now Pilot was launched on January 30, 2018.

    So if you’re looking to purchase an EV, you can find an electric vehicle that qualifies for pre-approval here.

  • California Clean Fuel Reward and Increased Rebate

    What is the California Clean Fuel Reward?

    The California Clean Fuel Reward is a rebate made available by The California Air Resources Board to California residents who purchase or lease eligible new Battery Electric (BEV) or Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) vehicles at participating automotive retailers.

    How much can I receive?

    Up to $1,500 can be rewarded to those who buy or lease a new eligible electric vehicle from a participating dealer. Battery capacity must be greater than 5kWh in order to qualify, and rewards are granted on a sliding scale with the largest batteries getting the $1,500 reward.

    What Vehicles Qualify?

    In order to qualify for the reward, you must purchase or lease an eligible vehicle purchased from a participating dealer in a participating utility

    Do I Qualify in San Diego?

    SDG&E happens to be a participating utility, and there are dozens of participating dealers in San Diego County. So if you’re looking to buy an EV in San Diego, check out the list of vehicles and participating dealers on the Clean Fuel Reward website

  • Clean Vehicle Assistance Program

    The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is a program paid for by California Climate Investments, which is a statewide clean energy initiative that invests billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

    The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program provides grants and affordable financing to assist Californians who are income-qualified to buy or lease a used or new hybrid or electric vehicle. The goal is to make electric vehicles more accessible to lower income Californians.

    Who Qualifies?

    Applicants cannot exceed maximum gross annual incomes, which are based on household size. Those limits are as follows:

  • Number of PeopleMaximum Gross Annual Income
  • So if you fall within the acceptable income range, you should highly consider taking advantage of the Clean Vehicle Assistance program. You’ll save big on both the car, and your gas.

    How Much Can I Receive?

    Depending on income and model of car, there are grants of up to $5,000 available for electric vehicles under the program. For installation of electric car chargers, there is a $2,000 grant available.

  • EV Federal Tax Credit

    The most substantial incentive to buy an EV is by far the Federal Tax Credit. First established during the Bush administration and then expanded by Obama, EV tax credits have been around for awhile. The credit, so far, has been $7,500 per vehicle, but that starts to reduce once an automaker sells more than 200,000 vehicles in the US.

    So essentially, Tax Credits have been available based on the popularity of the model, and therefore, manufacturer. As you can likely imagine, the credits available for Tesla’s ran out first in late 2019, and then for GM models in March 2020. The full credit remains at $7,500 for most other EV models from other manufacturers, including Audi, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, and Honda EV’s. The full list of available credits can be found here.

    The good news, for those that are interested in Tesla or GM EV’s, is that Democrat members of congress are pushing for more green initiatives that would bring back Tax Credits for manufacturers whose credits have already been exhausted. The GREEN Act, which was introduced by Democrats last year, is being reintroduced. The GREEN Act, if enacted, would replenish Tax Credits for those manufacturers whose credits have already been exhausted.

    The new system of credits under the Green Act would be slightly modified from the original. The maximum credit would be less - $7,000 instead of $7,500, and the credit cap would be increased to 600,000 sold vehicles instead of 200,000. Plug-in hybrids would also qualify for credit under the Act, but would get less credit than full EV’s.

    So if you’re looking to buy a Tesla, maybe hold off until the Green Act is pushed through. Or, if you’re anxious to get on the EV train immediately, there are plenty of models out there that still qualify.

    Combine to Get Huge Savings

    So you can see that there is potential for a ton of savings on Electric Vehicles in SDG&E  with all the rebates and incentives available. Let’s look again at how much you could possibly save if you qualified for and took advantage of all of them.


    1. California Clean Vehicle Project - $2,000
    2. California Clean Fuel Reward and Increased Rebate - $1,500
    3. Clean Vehicle Assistance Program - $5,000
    4. Federal Tax Credit - $7,500

    So altogether:

    $2,000 + $1,500 + $5,000 + $7,500 = $16,000 in potential savings

    That’s $16,000 towards your EV, that will save you even more in fuel costs. That’s a ton of money on the table waiting to be taken. If you’re a fiscally minded and environmentally minded driver, that’s a hard deal to ignore.

  • Save Even More by Adding Solar

    If you plan on purchasing an EV and taking advantage of all the incentives, rebates, and grants available, you should also consider adding solar and taking advantage of the incentives available for that as well. 

    If you add solar and pair it with your EV, you can power both your home, and your vehicle with the Sun. This saves you a ton of money in the first year, and even more in the long run as electric rates inevitably go up in the future. 

    There is also a Federal Solar Tax Credit for solar installation. It is currently at 26%, so if you install solar the government will pay for 26% of the cost. As most solar installations cost around $20,000+, that’s a hefty amount that you can recoup if you install solar this year

    So if you live in San Diego and you’ve been thinking about buying an Electric Vehicle, right now is a great time to do it. With incentives and rebates available that can save you thousands on your purchase, it’s a great investment that will pay itself back quickly. Add solar to your purchase and you will save not only with incentives but also on charging your EV. It’s truly a great time to go green, not just for the planet but for your finances.

    If you’re looking to buy an EV, you should know that Stellar Solar installs both electric car chargers and solar panels to go along with your purchase. We’ve been voted best solar company in San Diego 8 out of the last 10 years and have over 350+ 5-star reviews so you know we’re legit. Contact us today to get a quote on car chargers, solar and even batteries if you want one.


  • About the Author

    Michael Powers


    Michael is one of the founding partners of Stellar Solar. In 2001, he helped launch The Home Depot’s national solar energy program which is now offering home solar through hundreds of stores in nearly a dozen states. He is a writer and marketing professional with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of energy, market intelligence and leadership training. He currently serves as treasurer and board member of Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), a San Diego-based non-governmental organization that advocates linking renewable energy resources around the world using electricity transmission.