Rebate Program Encouraged Alt Fuels & Use

John Davis

ccseA recently exhausted rebate program in California is being credited with helping the state really increase its use of alternative fuels in vehicles.

From its inception in February 2008 to its end this past April, the Fueling Alternatives program handed out $2.6 million to encourage consumers to buy alternative fuel vehicles. And this article from the San Diego (CA) Daily Transcript says 948 rebates for as much as $5,000 were handed out to state residents who bought low- or zero-emission vehicles:

The program was funded by the California Air Resources Board with a portion of Assembly Bill 1811, which dedicated $25 million to promote alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicles. San Diego-based nonprofit, California Center for Sustainable Energies administered the program, which helped offset the cost of purchasing or leasing electric, compressed natural gas and fuel cell technologies.

“We had a tremendous response from the beginning of the program,” said Irene Stillings, executive director of CCSE in a written statement. “But once gas hit $4 a gallon, the phone calls and e-mails really shot up.”

Rebates were awarded for an array of vehicles, ranging from low-range electric carts to high-end electric sports cars. Nearly two-thirds of the rebates, or 622 were awarded to purchasers of the compressed natural gas Honda Civic GX. Rebates for purchases of the Honda vehicle totaled more than $1.8 million.

Purchases of the Global Electric Motorcars’ line of neighborhood electric vehicles were awarded the second-largest number of rebates at 116. Other popular vehicles included the Vectrix electric scooter and the high-performance electric Tesla Roadster. Six owners of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car, Honda FCX also received rebates.

If lawmakers in California approve more funds, there could be about $5 million available for low-emission cars and motorcycles.

Electric Vehicles, Government