Global Automakers and the Auto Alliance submitted joint comments to the California Air Resources Board on proposed changes to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) Funding Plan, which will be considered by the Board at a June 26th hearing. The CVRP offers rebates to consumers that buy zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), including battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Many of these vehicles have been commercially available for only about three years, and fuel cell vehicles are just now entering the market. While the market is growing, these vehicles combined represent just over two percent of the new vehicle market in California.
The Associations recommend the following, which we believe will enhance the CVRP and avoid disruptions to the nascent and fragile ZEV market:
- Maintain the current rebate amount, but add a contingency to adjust the rebate amount no later than December, 2014, based on updated rebate projections.
- Eliminate the contingency measure that would allow the Executive Officer to reduce or eliminate rebates for certain PHEVs.
- Eliminate the two per lifetime cap on rebates.
- Raise the threshold for re-evaluating the need for rebates to 150,000 for PHEVs.
In short, the ZEV market is not yet self-sustaining and will need California’s continued support for growth to be maintained. Moreover, California’s ZEV program mandates significant increases in ZEV volumes starting with 2018. The CVRP remains an important incentive to enhance and encourage ZEV sales, and we expect the CVRP, along with other incentives, will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future.