Customers who buy a new Tesla electric vehicle in California may now be eligible for a $1,500 “California Clean Fuel Reward” offered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and electric utility providers in the state. The price cut applies to eligible new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
As one might expect, some terms and conditions do apply. The car must be registered in the State of California and the vehicle must have a battery capacity of at least 16 kWh to get the full $1,500. Smaller rewards might be available for vehicles with less than 16 kWh. Purchasers of Tesla’s Model S, Model Y, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles will be eligible for the maximum credit offered by the California Clean Fuel Reward.
The California Clean Fuel Reward program places no limitations on income or location. The program is also open to people who claim other federal, state, or local incentives, tax breaks, and rebates available to consumers who purchase an electric vehicle. Most notably, this new reward program is not replacing the already existing California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).
“The California Air Resources Board and your electric utility want to make it easier to own an EV. That’s why we’re providing the California Clean Fuel Reward to people who purchase or lease an eligible new Battery Electric (BEV) or Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) vehicle at participating automotive retailers. This is on top of any applicable federal, state, and local incentives, rebates, and tax credits,” CARB said in a statement.
As usual, it is a good idea to read the full Terms and Conditions, which has been uploaded to Scribd by a user named Simon Alvarez.
Tesla does have plans to make its vehicles more affordable, including the planned release of a $25,000 vehicle within the next three years and the reduction of the Model S base price to $69,420 — a price that is likely to be appreciated by the community of marijuana users as a reference to one of their in jokes. Increased affordability of electric vehicles like Tesla’s may help to combat the common perception of EVs as simply a product that feeds into the environmental virtue signaling of wealthy customers.
Although some critics of electric vehicles have said that they simply replace oil with other “dirty” energy sources like coal, Tesla has done a fair job of answering such critics with its investments in renewable energy. In 2016, Tesla announced the acquisition of solar power company SolarCity, which was especially known for its roofs with integrated solar panels. Tesla has also made investments in solar powered Superchargers, including a partnership with Fastned to establish charging stations in Germany.
Tesla’s push toward sustainability has included plans for a more efficient battery-making process that uses less water and deals with mining companies to provide “zero-waste” nickel for its vehicles. Although some of these might be seen as PR stunts to shut the critics up, Musk and Tesla have repeatedly listed environmental impact and climate change as reasons to improve the company’s vehicle making process and phase out gas-powered vehicles.
For all that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has scrapped with Californian local and state officials over matters like mandatory shutdowns that were part of the response to COVID-19 and impacted operations at his factory in the state, this additional California Clean Fuel Reward may be a good sign that California wants to keep electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla around in the long haul as part of the state’s commitment to combating climate change.