Electric Cars

California's CARB Clean Fuel Reward

December 28, 2021

Save up to $750 with the California Clean Fuel Reward

As we move towards a greener future through the use of all-electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, there are many incentives on the road to a zero-emission world. You’ve probably heard of the federal tax credit of $7,500 for purchasing an EV, but there are many other state and local incentives, rebates and cash back offers from automakers so that getting into an electric car, SUV or pickup truck is more affordable than ever.

For instance, in California, participating auto dealers are part of the California Clean Fuel Reward program; a statewide electric vehicle time-of-sale (or lease) incentive program funded through the California Air Resource Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Receiving your California Clean Fuel Reward is easy. Auto dealerships will include the reward in the sales transaction when you purchase your new Battery Electric (BEV) or Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) vehicle with a battery capacity of 5-kWh or greater. The reward is offered on a sliding scale, depending on battery size, up to $750.

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more? We’ve put together the answers to some of the most-asked questions about the CARB Clean Fuel Reward for you California drivers who are interested in saving $750 on a new EV.

What is the California Clean Fuel Reward?

The California Clean Fuel Reward is available to anyone who buys or leases a new electric vehicle with a battery capacity greater than 5-kWh from a participating auto dealership. The customer must be a resident of California and register the vehicle in California. This instant EV reward is offered on a sliding scale, depending on your vehicle’s battery size.

Participating auto dealers will automatically apply the California Clean Fuel Reward toward the purchase price of your EV (Battery Electric or Plug-In Hybrid). Your reward amount will be listed on the purchase or lease agreement as “rebate/non-cash credits,” “EV incentive,” “manufacturer rebate,” or “other” line item, and it may be combined with other automaker rebates. Make sure to ask for an itemized list of incentives to be included in your contract.

Who is eligible for the California Clean Fuel Reward?

This Clean Fuel Reward can be applied to a purchase or lease of an electric vehicle through a participating Lithia Auto dealer. There are no income or location restrictions within the State of California, but the customer must be a resident of California and register the vehicle in California. For full details, see Program Rules.

What makes a vehicle eligible for the California Clean Fuel Reward?

Eligible EVs must be new purchased or leased Battery Electric (BEV) or Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) light-duty vehicles with a minimum battery capacity of five (5) kilowatt-hours. The vehicle must be street legal and on sale in the State of California by a dealership that is registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“Light-duty vehicle” is defined as a vehicle that is rated at 8,500 pounds or less Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This may include “demo” vehicles that are sold to a customer as new and have never been titled, as well as demo/rental vehicles that a dealership purchases and registers the vehicle in California. Note that the list of Eligible Vehicles is frequently updated.

Where can I find a list of participating dealers?

An updated list of participating auto dealerships may be found here.

How is the amount of reward determined?

The California Clean Fuel Reward amount is determined by the vehicle battery capacity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Vehicles with a battery capacity of sixteen (16) kilowatt-hours or greater qualify for the maximum reward of $750. Vehicles must have a battery capacity of at least five (5) kilowatt-hours in order to be eligible for a reward.

For instance, a vehicle with a battery pack of exactly 5-kWh will receive a reward of $291.75 (38.9% x $750.00). A vehicle with a battery pack capacity of 8.8-kWh will have a reward of $450.05, and a vehicle with a battery pack equal to 16-kwh or greater will receive the full $750.00 reward.

Are used vehicles eligible for the California Clean Fuel Reward?

Only new vehicles that have not been previously registered are eligible for the California Clean Fuel Reward.

Can the reward be applied toward the lease of an eligible vehicle?

Yes. Enrolled auto dealers must reduce the customer’s contract price by the amount of the California Clean Fuel Reward on both purchases and leases.

Where can I find a list of eligible vehicles and the applicable California Clean Fuel Reward amount?

An updated list of all eligible vehicles may be found here.

Are there other EV rewards available other than this one?

There are many incentives, rewards, rebates, and tax credits available to people who purchase or lease electric vehicles today. These include federal, state, and local incentives as well as discounts on chargers and electricity rates. You may even be eligible for special HOV lane access. For more details, check out Additional EV Incentives.

Is the reward stackable with other incentives?

Yes! Incentives, rewards, rebates, and tax credits are stackable and available to people who purchase or lease and EV. Information on combining EV rebates may be found on the Additional EV Incentives page.

For additional facts and information regarding the California Clean Fuel Reward, click here.