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California Cuts Green Car Rebates For The Wealthy

(Credit: Toyota)

Fuel Efficiency

California Cuts Green Car Rebates For The Wealthy

Toyota Prius Plug-in

Toyota Prius Plug-in (Credit: Toyota)

The state of California has decided to cut the wealthy out of the bulk of its programs that provide rebates for purchasing zero emission vehicles. Starting at the beginning of July, households that have more of an average income will actually receive a larger rebate when the purchase a plug-in hybrid, electric or fuel-cell vehicle.

People who live in high-income households can’t get a tax rebate at all. The plan makes sense considering that the wealthy don’t really need a financial incentive to go green when it comes to their vehicle choice. After all, purchasing a Tesla Model S for highly affluent people is about as burdensome as buying some new jeans at Buckle.

Before, the rebate in California was $2,500 for each and every electric car sold in the state’s borders. According to a new report from Jalopnik, a sliding scale has been adopted. Not only does it take into consideration the income level of the buyer, it also accounts for the kind of vehicle that will be purchased.

Households that have an annual income that’s under 300 percent of the federal poverty level get a rebate of $3,000 for plug-in hybrid cars, $4,000 for electric vehicles and $6,500 for hydrogen fuel-cell cars. When a single person makes under $250,000 each year, or when a family rakes in under $500,000, the numbers shift to $2,500 for plug-in hybrids, $2,500 for electric vehicles and $5,000 for fuel cell models. Those who make more than that get nothing for buying a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, but they still receive $5,000 for choosing a fuel cell car.

It’s obvious that California is really trying to encourage people to give hydrogen a chance as an alternative fuel, considering the incentives structure. The state is one of the few places that such vehicles are even available to purchase or lease right now.

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