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California Changes Electric Vehicle Rebates to Benefit Poorest Car Buyers

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It seems that California has decided to make it easier for people who would most want to save money on gas to buy plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen-cell cars.

gas tax

Tesla Model S

The state has added income-based caps on electric car rebates, removing them entirely for those who make over $250,000 per year (except for hydrogen cars). Now, those who make less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Limit (which varies based on the number of people in your household—at the time of writing, they were $11,770 for one person, $15,930 for two, and so on) can receive up to $3,000 for a plug-in hybrid, $4,000 for an electric car, and $6,500 for a hydrogen fuel-cell car.

On the old system, richer buyers claimed the rebate the most often, with 75% earning more than $99,000 per year and 26% in that highest income group of over $250,000.

2015 Nissan LEAF CAS

2015 Nissan LEAF

This decision comes after intense debate over whether wealthy buyers should receive these subsidies, and it is hoped that the new system will encourage people of lower incomes to purchase more fuel-efficient, less-polluting cars.