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This is pretty big news that affects EV customers in California. EV buyers purchasing vehicles with a price exceeding $60,000 will not qualify for the state’s $2,500 clean-vehicle rebate. It includes Plug-in hybrids with less than 35 miles of all-electric range.

The change will take away rebates for the Audi e-tron, Jaguar i-Pace — and a lot of models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla.

Here's the breakdown of the announcement form Electrek:

Starting December 3, California EV buyers purchasing vehicles with a price exceeding $60,000 will not qualify for the state’s $2,500 clean-vehicle rebate. The change will eliminate rebates for the Audi e-tron and Jaguar i-Pace — as well as many models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla. Plug-in hybrids with less than 35 miles of all-electric range will also become ineligible.

The new policy is an effort by the California Air Resources Board to shift support from wealthy buyers to low- to moderate-income drivers. Rebates for the more affordable EVs that still qualify will be reduced from $2,500 to $2,000. The rebate for plug-in hybrids will be reduced from $1,500 to $1,000.

Low- to moderate-income buyers will continue to receive higher rebates of $4,500 and $3,500, respectively, for EVs and PHEVs. Increased rebates for lower-income residents have been in effect since 2016. For example, a family of four that makes less than $77,250 is eligible. The exact figure is determined based on household size and incomes less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level.

The impact of the change on EV-buyer demographics remains to be seen. It will become a litmus test, because California is by far the biggest EV market in the United States. In 2016 and 2017, California represented 50% of EV sales in the US. In 2018, California’s share of national EV sales slightly dropped to 47% in 2018.

The new rules go into effect on December 3. Purchases made before that date operate under existing rules, with.buyers having 18 months to apply for a rebate.

Other changes:

  • The state will use the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS) to calculate the all-electric range of plug-in hybrids. Only vehicles with 35 or more miles of all-electric range will qualify. The program will publish the list of qualifying PHEVs in the coming weeks.
  • Individuals and businesses can only qualify for only one rebate per lifetime. Think of it as encouragement for a new EV driver. Subsequent EV purchases from that entity will not qualify for a rebate.
  • Fuel-cell electric vehicles exceeding $60,000 will qualify for a $4,500 credit (or $7,000 for low/moderate income buyers)


The long-term picture of California EV rebates is subject to change. San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced a plan to triple EV incentives in California in February 2019. The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected Ting’s bill, AB1046, without any public discussion in late August.

The bill would have required CARB to create a rebate structure to support the deployment of 5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030. The proposal, estimated to cost $10 billion over a decade, would immediately boost rebate amounts.

Ting told the San Francisco Chronicle that he plans to revive the issue next year. He said that he persuaded Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration to study how the rebate program can be changed to help California achieve the 5 million ZEV target.

A $500 reduction in the EV rebate is unlikely to have a significant impact on consumers buying EVs costing below $60,000. If there’s any impact, which is not certain, it will be on wealthier buyers purchasing more expensive electric models.

The website managed by the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program indicates that about 354,000 rebates have been issued as follows since 2011. About 115,000 of those rebates helped purchase luxury vehicles from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz. But the vast majority of them (95,926 out of 115,000) was for Tesla buyers.

Since March 2016, when the rebates increased based on income, only 16,614 rebates were issued to low/moderate-income buyers.

In the tony 94025 Palo Alto zip code, buyers received more than $2.4 million in rebates. Meanwhile, two economically challenged Sacramento zip codes that combine to form a similarly sized population received just $163,000 in state support. (These numbers are from January 2019, when I was researching this story in the New York Times: “Are Electric Cars Only for the Rich?”)

Soon after the new rules are instated on December 3, many Tesla buyers will no longer benefit from either California or federal incentives. Tesla buyers currently qualify for $1,875 federal EV tax credit, but that will be entirely phased out starting on January 1, 2020.
 

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Makes sense to me. I'm all for encouraging people to switch to greener alternatives, but above $60k, you can afford it either way.
 

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This is pretty big news that affects EV customers in California. EV buyers purchasing vehicles with a price exceeding $60,000 will not qualify for the state’s $2,500 clean-vehicle rebate. It includes Plug-in hybrids with less than 35 miles of all-electric range.

The change will take away rebates for the Audi e-tron, Jaguar i-Pace — and a lot of models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla.

Here's the breakdown of the announcement form Electrek:
Washington has a $45,000 selling price limit for a sales tax rebate. I am counting on the Federal Tax Credit for approximately the first 85,000 Mach-E's.
 

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I ordered a first edition but if it's over the $60,000 I might see if I can change it to premium AWD extended in red for the extra savings. This is a huge purchase and I am not wealthy so every extra savings is important. I don't know if the first edition is worth it yet. I didn't know which one I wanted when I put the order in but I figured it was better to get the first edition and then I could always change my mind.
 

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Personally, I think it's kind of stupid to set a price limit.
The point is to motivate people to switch to electric cars, right?

Some people, like @St00k above will say "you can afford it anyway". That might be true (in most cases), but he/she can also afford a luxury ICE vehicle at the same or lower price. So it doesn't mean that if someone can afford an EV they like, they will buy it. They might go for an ICE car that is cheaper and (in most senses besides the environmental one) better.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Personally, I think it's kind of stupid to set a price limit.
The point is to motivate people to switch to electric cars, right?

Some people, like @St00k above will say "you can afford it anyway". That might be true (in most cases), but he/she can also afford a luxury ICE vehicle at the same or lower price. So it doesn't mean that if someone can afford an EV they like, they will buy it. They might go for an ICE car that is cheaper and (in most senses besides the environmental one) better.
That's very true, instead of removing it all together for vehicles over $60,000 they could've just lowered it slightly and increased it for low to moderate buyers.
 

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Personally, I think it's kind of stupid to set a price limit.
The point is to motivate people to switch to electric cars, right?

Some people, like @St00k above will say "you can afford it anyway". That might be true (in most cases), but he/she can also afford a luxury ICE vehicle at the same or lower price. So it doesn't mean that if someone can afford an EV they like, they will buy it. They might go for an ICE car that is cheaper and (in most senses besides the environmental one) better.
If I had ~$80K to spend on a car, I don't see why I would get anything other than a Model X. It's the best deal going, if you want instant torque! :)
 

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If I had ~$80K to spend on a car, I don't see why I would get anything other than a Model X. It's the best deal going, if you want instant torque!
Exactly. That's why I said ICEs are better than EVs in most senses (besides them being cleaner). Because EVs have that one thing going for them, torque.
So if that is indeed what you want, you'd get an EV anyway (if you had the money). But it's not the most important factor for most people.
 

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Exactly. That's why I said ICEs are better than EVs in most senses (besides them being cleaner). Because EVs have that one thing going for them, torque.
So if that is indeed what you want, you'd get an EV anyway (if you had the money). But it's not the most important factor for most people.
There's a few more advantages to BEVs. Just plugging in at home rather than having to go to gas stations is a nice perk. And the fuel costs roughly 1/3rd as much as gasoline (at home electricity prices). There should be lower maintenance costs over time too from fewer moving parts. And no oil changes/tune-ups.

But on the disadvantage side is a higher purchase price, the cost of adding a 220V outlet in your garage, and being a really poor fit for long distance drives requiring lots of wasted time and compromise. That's why I'm planning on just designating mine as the daily around-home car and retaining an ICE for anything more than ~120 miles of usage in a day. (Which is fine because 95% of my days are less than that.) That way I avoid any range anxiety and any need to compromise like turning climate control off or driving like grandma.
 

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I live in California. The concept of being wealthy buying a car at $60,000 is ludicrous. The PURPOSE of buying an electric car is to SAVE money. If you can afford an ICE vehicle for $60+ then you will as the cost of gas/maintenance is likely not an issue. I am buying a first edition and yes I drive 200 miles a day and I plan on using it on long trips and yes I already know that I have to change my thinking about more stops and better planning. My point is that this car will save me roughly $500 per month in gas. If you add oil changes of about $60 per $10,000 miles this car will cost me way less then a similar ICE vehicle. In short the average income set at $60,000 is in fact stupid. I wonder if Ford will reduce via credits to get the price down to $59,999 so as to maximize rebates. The real bottom line is that you change your mode of thinking when it comes to an electric car or you should not buy one. If I were just doing say 100 miles a week driving in town I would buy an ICE. Why??? The gas cost is cheaper then the cost of the car itself. I see soooo many Teslas where they have the cheapest smallest battery. It is essentially a status symbol. The Mach E is meant to be driven period. I figured out over the last two years that unless your gas bill is in excess of $500 a month it is stupid to buy an electric car. You can buy an ICE car for much less and the cost of gas etc is just not that significant. Your decision to buy an electric car should be based on what you are ACTUALLY saving unless of course you are into it for the novelty. If the goal for California is to go electric then the rebates should be on 100% electric cars only and give a sizeable rebate. Now that would encourage people to buy them.
 

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The PURPOSE of buying an electric car is to SAVE money.
For most people that math doesn't add up yet. BEVs are still usually more expensive to purchase relative to their ICE counterparts than operational savings from fuel and maintenance. The Mach-e, for example, is in the neighborhood of $20,000 more expensive to buy than a reasonably comparable ICE vehicle. And few people are going to save that much on operational costs.

You are a huge exception to that though if you're driving 200 miles/day (which translates to over 40,000 miles/year). A BEV with 300 miles range is perfect for that. However most Americans only drive ~13,000 miles/yr, and average around 500 gallons of gas/year. US nation avg gas price is around $2.50. That's $1250/yr. BEV charging at home averages about 1/3rd the comparable price of gas. Typical annual savings for that would be around $800/yr.
 

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In California we are all used to driving which may be the reason I saw recently that California has by far the largest purchase of BEV vehicles. The Mach E is really not that much more then say a Mustang GT. Realistically $40,000 for a mustang is about right I think. $60,000 for a GT that is fully loaded seems like a fair price if it was an ICE. My electric rate for charging at home is 0.13 per KWH and I think I figured it out to be about $9-10 for $270 miles on a first edition. I have no idea what ICE car can get that kind of gas cost.
 

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ICE Mustang GT's start at $39k. Mach-e GT starts at $60k. So still about a $20k difference.
Similar on the base ICE Mustang, which starts at $23k vs $43k starting price for the base Mach-e.

I have no idea what ICE car can get that kind of gas cost.
That's what I said... BEV charging at residential rates works out to about 1/3rd the cost of gasoline, by my calculations. At least in my location. My home electric rate is $0.105/kWh and gas is running about $2.50/gal here. My Escape gets a fairly typical 25 MPG. 270 miles = 10.8 gallons @ $2.50 = $27. If the Mach-e gets 3.5 miles/kWh avg (estimate), 270 / 3.5 = 77 kWh x $0.105 = $8. Roughly 3:1.
 

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EV rate here 5 cents a KWh. Save about $1K a year of gasoline vs power bill. Also, EV rate applies to the whole house during is also at EV rate hours, so more savings there. Not having to go to the gas station is a joy! No worry of making the side trip to buy gas, worry about credit card skimmers, worry about car jacking, etc. :)
 

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It's fine to take the cost in consideration but we need to do not forget why we are going to EV, climate change!!!
Well, why some people are buying EVs, anyway. For others (like me) it's for a number of practical advantages like fuel costing 1/3rd as much, refueling at home rather than going to gas stations, more power and acceleration, less maintenance, quieter, etc.

Everyone has their own reasons. That's the beauty of the free market... Choices! 😎
 
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