FAQ

Evolving Health and Economic Crisis Impacts on the CVA Program

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General Information

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  • The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is currently accepting new applications. The program has reopened with updated program criteria. To learn more about program updates, click here.

  • Our program helps income-qualified California residents get a new or used hybrid or electric vehicle. We do this through a combination of grants and fair financing options. Our lending partner, Beneficial State Bank, offers 8% or lower interest rate auto loans for qualified participants.

  • We give grants, not rebates. Clean vehicle grants are awarded to individuals at the point of sale of a qualifying clean vehicle, not after the fact. If you have already purchased or leased a clean vehicle, we cannot give you a grant. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Program offers rebates, which are awarded after a qualifying clean vehicle purchase.

  • It can take as little as three weeks or as long as three months to complete the application process. It depends on how long you take to complete the 5 steps of the application, how many applications we are processing when you submit your application, and how quickly we can verify your eligibility from the documentation you provide. On average, it takes people around six weeks to qualify for a clean vehicle grant. We process applications on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is funded by California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Clean Vehicle Grants

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Charging Station Grants

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Eligible Clean Vehicles

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  • New and used hybrid, plug-in hyrbid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) are eligible for purchase or lease 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.

  • 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-prong outlet at your home. You could also install a Level 2 charging station in your home or use public charging stations for faster charging.

  • 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.

Dealership Network

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  • No, 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.

Leases

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  • Yes, however, we recommend doing extensive research before entering a lease agreement. We are unable to ensure fair leasing practices from the leasing companies, so it is your responsibility to negotiate a fair lease that will meet the program requirements. There are many resources on the internet to help you prepare for a lease, such as this video. Grant recipients are required to own or lease their clean vehicle for a minimum of 30 months. 

Stacking

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  • The CVA Program clean vehicle grant can be combined, or “stacked,” with some other clean vehicle programs. The CVA Program can NOT be stacked with grants from Replace Your Ride, Clean Cars for All, Drive Clean in the San Joaquin, or the Driving Clean Assistance Program. The CVA Program can be stacked with the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, but restrictions apply and participants are responsible for meeting the requirements of each program independently. Other programs may be able to stack with the CVA Program grant, such as the Federal Income Tax Credit. You can explore a full list of clean vehicle incentives available in California here. Stacking between programs depends on the availability of funds for each program. Funds are not guaranteed.

  • Step 1: Complete the CVA Program application online.

    Step 2: Receive your CVA Program Approval Packet.

    Step 3: Bring your Approval Packet to a CVA Program Network Dealership to redeem your grant by purchasing or leasing a NEW qualifying vehicle (used vehicles are not eligible for the CVRP rebate). NOTE: the vehicle you purchase or lease must meet the vehicle requirements of BOTH the CVA Program and CVRP. Learn about the CVA Program vehicle eligibility guidelines here Click here to view eligible vehicles for the CVRP and learn about CVRP eligibility guidelines here.

    Step 4: Apply for the CVRP rebate within 3 months of purchasing or leasing an eligible vehicle.

    Step 5: Receive a CVRP approval email.

    Step 6: Receive CVRP rebate check in the mail. This typically takes about 90 days from the approval email.