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California's green car rebate program runs out of gas

Consumer Reports News: June 22, 2011 02:08 PM

If you're in California and shopping for an environmentally-friendly car, there's a bit of bad news. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said on its website that the $11.1 million in state funding for its Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) "has been completely distributed."

About 1,400 Californians who purchased a pricey, green vehicle—such as the $33,000 Nissan Leaf or the $41,000 Chevy Volt—have already pulled almost $7 million in rebates from the program. And the remaining funds have already been ear-marked for distribution via rebate checks ranging from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the clean car purchased by the consumer.

CARB's California Center for Sustainable Energy, which manages the CVRP, is still accepting consumer applications for clean car rebates. But those new clean car owners most likely won't see any checks until more money is infused into the program next month, the start of the state's 2011-2012 fiscal year.

There is good news, however. According to CCSE's website, the clean vehicle program is expected to receive up to $17 million in funding. From that new round of funding, the CCSE could distribute as many as 6,000 rebate checks to qualified Californians.

The bad news? The rebate amounts will be cut in half: $2,500 will be the most any new green car owner in California will receive from the program. And with the CVRP still operating on a first-come, first-served basis, CCSE says new clean car shoppers should apply for the rebate as soon as possible.

Visit our guide to alternative fuels to learn more about electric cars.

FY 2010-2011 Funding Runs Out, Waiting List Started [California Center for Sustainable Energy]
California electric vehicle rebate program runs out of cash [Autoblog Green]

Paul Eng

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