California’s Air Resource Board recently approved several changes to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project which will take place on March 29, 2016. These include both an income cap on the rebate that will exclude high-income consumers, and increased rebate levels for low and moderate-income consumers. If you’re interested in either a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle, you should consider whether you’ll be hurt or helped by the changes and think about timing your purchase accordingly.

The current program, in effect through March 29, 2016, includes a rebate of $1,500 for plug-in hybrids and $2,500 for electric vehicles. After this date, those with incomes above the following thresholds will no longer be eligible for any California rebates.

  • Individuals who earn more than $250,000
  • Heads of household who earn more than $340,000
  • Couples filing jointly who earn more than $500,000


These rebates will remain the same for those earning more than 300% of the federal poverty level, but less than the above. For those whose income is less than 300% of the poverty level, the rebates will increase to $3,000 for plug-in hybrids and $4,000 for electric vehicles. All consumers will still qualify for any applicable Federal tax credits.

We’ve listed our top-selling vehicles that qualify for the state rebate.


10. Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive (Electric Vehicle)

Why we love it: The first pure electric Mercedes-Benz gives drivers a range of up to 87 miles while accelerating to 60 mph in just 7.9 seconds. Its versatile 5-door design provides room for five adults to sit in style; the rear seats also fold flat to accommodate additional cargo.

9. Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid (Plug-in Hybrid)

Why we love it: With a top speed of 151 mph, and acceleration from zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds, Porsche managed to keep driver enjoyment at the forefront of the Cayenne S plug-in hybrid. It offers an all-electric range of 14 miles and a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg in gas-only mode.


8. Volkswagen e-Golf (Electric Vehicle)

Why we love it: Volkswagen’s first all-electric vehicle has a range of 70-90 miles in normal mode; putting the car in Eco+ mode can raise this above 100 miles between charges. It offers the same sporty look as the other cars in the Golf family and can charge completely in just four hours; opt for the quick charger and it’s ready to go in just 30 minutes.



7. Ford C-MAX Energi (Plug-in Hybrid)

Why we love it: The C-MAX Energi is among the most affordable plug-in hybrids with an MSRP starting $31,770. It can travel up to 20 miles in electric mode and has a combined fuel economy of 38 mpg in gas-only mode. The 5-door design makes it very usable either as a passenger vehicle or for cargo.


6. Ford Fusion Energi (Plug-in Hybrid)

Why we love it: Like the C-MAX, the Fusion has an electric range of 20 miles and a combined fuel efficiency rating of 38 mpg. The Fusion offers a well-appointed cabin, a responsive drive and a standard rear view camera.


5. Toyota Prius Plug-in (Plug-in Hybrid)

Why we love it: The Prius is among the most fuel-efficient vehicles available; the Prius Plug-in combines gas-only fuel efficiency of 50 mpg with an electric-only range of 11 miles. The entire Prius family is being relaunched for 2016 with a futuristic new look (see above), but don’t expect to see the redesigned Prius Plug-in on the roads before the second half of next year.


4. FIAT 500e (Electric Vehicle)

Why we love it: The two-door 500e combines the sporty design and zippy handling of a FIAT with an 87-mile all-electric range. The car needs to recharge overnight with the Level 1 charger which comes standard; upgrade to the Level 2 charger for a full charge in less than four hours.


3. Chevrolet Volt

Why we love it: Redesigned for 2016, the new Chevy Volt has an electric-only range of 53 miles, and a total range of 420 miles with the 1.5-liter range extender. Fuel economy is projected at 41 mpg in gas-only mode, and advanced active safety features include Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Forward Safety Awareness.


2. BMW i3 (Plug-in Hybrid or Electric Vehicle)

Why we love it: The unique styling of the i3 has helped it become a favorite with Cartelligent clients. This fun-to-drive BMW comes in both an electric version that offers a range of up to 110 miles, and a plug-in hybrid that has gas-only fuel economy of 41 mpg city/37 highway.


1. Nissan LEAF (Electric Vehicle)

Why we love it: The all-electric LEAF is our top selling plug-in vehicle. Clients love its sporty design, versatile configuration and comfortable ride. For 2016, Nissan is offering an optional upgrade to a 30 kW-hr battery pack that increases the LEAF’s range from 84 to 107 miles.

Whether you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid, all-electric vehicle, or any other new car, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888-427-4270 or get started today.