For southern California residents, it's an excellent time to start considering the purchase of a BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf electric car.
San Diego Gas & Electric has joined a host of other utility companies in the state in offering incentives towards the purchase of an i3 or a Leaf.
In total, the incentives slash $10,000 from the purchase price of either electric car, and an annual $200 credit to reduce the buyer's electricity bill is included through the EV Climate Credit program.
SDG&E's incentives may be enough to sway some customers into either electric car, but there's better news: the rebates can be combined with state and federal incentives.
The state of California offers a $4,500 purchase rebate for qualified low-income applicants, while others are eligible for $2,500
Additionally, the federal government income-tax credit of up to $7,500 can bring the additional incentives to $10,000 on top of the utility's $10,000.
2014 BMW i3 REx fast-charging at Chargepoint site, June 2016 [photo: Tom Moloughney]
While the federal and state incentives are subject to qualifications and paperwork established by the two governments, the utility company's program is much more straight forward.
SDG&E simply asks a customer to provide a copy of their utility bill and a discount flyer to any participating BMW or Nissan dealership.
Additional buyers who live in the same household as the utility's primary account holder are also eligible for the incentives, although proof of residency is required.
Nissan is likely funding some of the generous incentives to clear out remaining first-generation Nissan Leafs.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf will be revealed next month and is expected to offer a choice of two battery packs—one of which should be rated at 200 miles of range or more.
SDG&E joins Southern California Edison as the latest utility company to offer discounts on electric cars, though SCE has offered just $450 towards a purchase.
2017 Nissan Leaf
However, the $450 incentive can be applied to new and used electric cars.
Up north, California utility company Pacific Gas & Electric offers $500 towards the purchase of an electric car as well.
Two Hawaiian utilities—Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative and the Hawaiian Electric Company—offered $10,000 rebates similar to those in San Diego from this past January through March.
Those rebates once again were destined for the Nissan Leaf.
SDG&E's program runs through September 30, 2017, or while supplies of the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf last at participating local dealers.