California is lowering the MSRP and income caps for its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), which provides rebates of up to $2,000 for EVs and $1,500 for plug-in hybrids.
Starting February 24, new rules will lower the income cap for single filers from $150,000 to $135,000, according to the program's website. The cap for head-of-household filers will drop from $204,000 to $175,000. The joint-filer cap will be decrease from $300,000 to $200,000.
This means fewer high-income car buyers will qualify for the rebate, potentially leaving more funds available for buyers that are more likely to need the rebate in able to afford an EV or plug-in hybrid.
Tesla Model Y
Separately, the MSRP cap for the CVRP is being lowered from $60,000 to $45,000 for passenger cars. However, the original $60,000 cap will still apply to pickup trucks and SUVs. This change also takes effect February 24.
Under the new rules, the Polestar 2 and BMW i3 will no longer be eligible for rebates, although that may not be relevant for the latter. BMW dropped the i3 from the United States last year, so supplies are likely dwindling.
2020 BMW i3
The higher price cap for SUVs means the Tesla Model Y is just barely eligible. So is the base $44,990 Model 3, because the CVRP doesn't count destination charges.
Launched in 2010, the CVRP is separate from the California Clean Fuel Reward (CCFR) incentive, just got smaller in November. California shrank it from $1,500 to $750. The CVRP requires a separate application after purchasing or leasing a vehicle, but the CCFR is a point-of-sale rebate that's available immediately. The CCFR also doesn't have the CVRP's income and price caps.
Meanwhile, on the federal level, it's still unclear what might happen with a potential expansion of the EV tax credit.