The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) has announced that rebates for zero emission vehicles may run out in July because the funds set aside for the project have been allocated to a much higher number of consumers than originally predicted.
California’s ARB has a $40 million budget each year, depending on state revenue, to support technology that can improve air quality, and started funding the current $11.1 rebate program, $2 million of which came from California Energy Commission, in March of 2010. Consumers who buy an electric vehicle may currently receive a $1,500 to $5,000 rebate depending on the car purchased.
Next fiscal year, ARB is hoping to increase the rebate funds to create a $17 million pool and decrease the maximum individual rebate amount to $2,500, which would allow at least 6,000 rebates to be distributed. So far, approximately 1,400 rebates have be awarded, and according to the program’s website, less than $500,000 in funds remain.
Although the electric car and plug-in hybrid rebate program is likely to expand, the ARB suggests those interested should apply early in case demand increases. Infrastructure enhancements, such as more charging stations, have already begun to improve around the country, potentially easing some consumer concerns over range.