FAQ

What is the current status of the program?

The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is temporarily closed, which means we are not accepting new applications. We closed the program because we received a much higher number of applications than expected (over two thousand!). Since we have limited funding available, we are currently working with existing applicants only. Additional funding has been approved, and we are working with the California Air Resources Board to relaunch the program. When the Program relaunches with new funding, applicants may be subject to different program criteria.

How can the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program help me?

Our program helps income-qualified California residents purchase a new or used hybrid or electric vehicle. We do this through a combination of grants and loans at 8% or lower interest rate from our fair and transparent lending partner, Beneficial State Bank.

How can I apply?

The first step to apply is to verify your eligibility. Each online application step takes no more than 20 minutes. The entire application process to get a clean vehicle can take as few as 15 business days. Our grant program is for income-qualified California residents. We will verify your eligibility using your driver’s license and most recent tax return.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible you must be a California resident and have a qualifying household income, which is calculated based on 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. If you’re wondering if you qualify, you can have a look at the income chart here.

What’s the process?

The process to purchase a vehicle through our Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is 3 simple steps. The first is verifying eligibility for the program through the online application. If you choose to get a loan for your clean vehicle, the second step is securing a loan though our lending partner, Beneficial State Bank, or a lender of your choice. The third step is purchasing your new or used hybrid or electric vehicle, at this time the grant will go directly to the dealership as a down payment.

What vehicles are eligible?

New and used hybrid and electric vehicles are eligible for purchase with grant funds. Used vehicles must be 8 years old or new with 75,000 miles or less to be eligible for a clean vehicle grant. If the vehicle has been recalled or does not have a clean title, it is not eligible. You can see examples of eligible clean vehicle models here.

How much can I get towards a new or used hybrid or electric car?

Grants are currently $2,500 for hybrid cars and $5,000 for electric cars. For battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, a free home charging station and its installation is available through our partners at GRID Alternatives, up to $2,000 value. Remember, these are grants that you do not have to pay back.

Why are hybrid or electric cars a good fit for me?

Many clean vehicle owners appreciate that hybrid and electric vehicles cost less to own and contribute less to air pollution because of their high fuel economy. Hybrid and electric vehicles are increasingly common and affordable and range in size from compact models to larger SUVs, so you will have many options to choose from when shopping for a clean vehicle that will fit your transportation needs and budget. If you choose a clean vehicle with an electric motor, charging can be as easy as plugging your vehicle into a 3-pronged outlet at your home. Or you can get a free Level 2 charging station installed if you purchase a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) through the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program.

 

Do I need to repay the grant?

These are one-time grants that do not need to be repaid.

Do you offer financing?

Yes, we offer fair and transparent financing through our lending partner, Beneficial State Bank. Qualified program participants can get an 8% interest rate loan or below from Beneficial State Bank. You can also get financing from a lender of your choice, but it must have a 16% interest rate or below.

What if I don’t qualify for an 8% loan from Beneficial State Bank or a 16% interest rate from another lender?

If you cannot secure a qualifying loan at this time, another option is to purchase a clean vehicle outright. If that is not an option and you are unable to secure a qualifying loan, unfortunately we cannot provide you with a Clean Vehicle Assistance Program grant at this time. We encourage you to contact your primary lender for credit resources that may help you improve your credit score.

What would my monthly payment be?

Monthly payments vary based on the size of your loan and the term length of your loan. For example, if you received a $5,000 grant for an electric car and take out a $5,000 loan to be repaid over 4 years, you would only need to repay $5,000 and your monthly payment would be around $122 a month. Keep in mind, based on the vehicle you select and the amount financed your payment may be higher or lower.

How long does the application process take?

Getting into your new or used clean vehicle can take as little as three weeks or as long as three months. This depends on how quickly you complete your application, how long it takes us to verify your grant eligibility, and how long the car shopping process takes you after we’ve given you an Approval Letter, which we will mail to you in your Approval Packet.

Can I use my clean vehicle grant at any dealership?

We do have some restrictions because we strive to only work with dealers that have proven to treat consumers fairly. Our network of approved dealerships includes hundreds  of dealerships across California, see our list of network dealerships here.

What do I need to bring to the dealership?

Bring your Approval Packet and your loan pre-approval letter. It also helps to have a clear idea of your budget and what type of car you want to buy when you go to purchase a new or used vehicle.

Can I stack a Clean Vehicle Assistance Program grant with a grant or rebate from another clean vehicle incentive program?

It depends. A Clean Vehicle Assistance Program grant cannot be stacked with funds from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, Rebate Now, Tune in Tune Up, and Replace Your Ride. Other programs may be able to stack with the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program grant, such as the Federal Income Tax Credit. You can explore a full list of clean vehicle incentives available in California here.

Can I apply if I already own/purchased my clean vehicle?

No, unfortunately clean vehicle grants and loans through the CVA Program cannot be provided after a vehicle has already been purchased. If you purchased a new clean vehicle, you may qualify for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

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