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California Unplugs $5,000 Battery Car Rebate Program

Buyers still get access to car pool lanes, however.

by on Jul.21, 2011

California has run out of cash for its electric vehicle incentive program.

Cash-starved California has pulled the plug on a program that provided a significant financial incentive for buyers of approved electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf.

California was one of more than a dozen states that have enacted some form of cash incentives meant to spur the sale of high-mileage advanced-propulsion vehicles.  But the program was limited by the Golden State’s financial problems.  Nonetheless, buyers will still get at least one other much sought-after perk: stickers providing access to the HOV, or High Occupancy Vehicle, lanes, which can mean a significantly faster commute for those traveling alone.

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The federal government’s $7,500 tax credit for battery car buyers will remain in effect and, in fact, covers a broader range of products, including the Chevrolet Volt. The General Motors plug-in hybrid did not qualify in California because it did not meet the narrow definition of a so-called partial-zero-emission vehicle, or P-ZEV.