Incentivize’s Rebate Calculator Makes California Debut via Pilot Program with USGBC California

In Hollywood’s films and TV shows, the images presented are often superior to the realities they depict. However in the case of Los Angeles and EVs, the image actually lags behind reality. Despite its international reputation as a sprawling metropolis long associated with automobiles, traffic jams, and endless freeways, Los Angeles has been a standard setter for some time in the journey towards a greener, lower carbon future. Nowhere is this discrepancy truer than in terms of the revolution we are experiencing with electric vehicles. The reality is, LA is actually the EV capital of the country, with more total EV registrations by far than any other US metro region. 

That’s why as advocates for EV access and affordability, joining forces with USGBC California and its Green Homes initiative in Los Angeles was a natural fit for Incentivize and the ideal launchpad for our first pilot program. With California and LA’s commitments to tackling climate change by creating programs to encourage more sustainable transportation, coupled with a growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, the demand for electric vehicles has been growing rapidly in LA. However, despite the growing popularity of EVs, and the advent of some point of sale incentives, navigating the complex landscape of rebates and incentives can be daunting for many prospective buyers. 

Confusing rules around rebate and tax credit eligibility for various government and utility programs offering EV and EV charger incentives can limit the effectiveness of these programs, especially when the very rules meant to address equity issues can serve as an additional barrier. It is not obvious how to qualify for and stack up all the different programs available to Angelenos when they vary depending on where exactly you live, what you are buying, and how much income you and your family have. 

It starts at the top. The new federal tax credit for EVs created by the Inflation Reduction Act is a generous incentive, but it’s not the easiest to understand, with technical rules dictating which cars are eligible based on battery composition and vehicle assembly changing annually. California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project ended in November 2023, replaced by an expanded Clean Cars 4 All program, which despite its name, has more stringent income restrictions and is only available in certain Air Quality Management Districts. Thankfully, Clean Cars 4 All does include the South Coast area, which covers Los Angeles. For those living in the City of Los Angeles, LADWP, your municipal utility, offers additional rebates for buying used EVs and for the buying and installing home charging equipment. 

Incentivize Rebate Calculator example
Incentivize rebate calculator example

From national incentives to state and local programs, there’s no shortage of opportunities for savvy Angelenos to save money on their EV purchase. Yet, understanding the intricacies of these programs and determining eligibility can be a challenge in itself. That’s where we come in. USGBC California’s rebate calculator pilot project–starting with LA–helps people navigate confusion to find out exactly what rebates and tax credits they can use to help buy an EV as well as an EV charger for their home. We hope it serves as a beacon of clarity in the often murky waters of EV incentives. By simply inputting your zip code, tax filing status and income level, users can quickly discover which rebates and tax credits you qualify for, streamlining the process to determine what kind of EV your family can afford to buy. 

It’s also worth mentioning that EV access will increase as more and more affordable models hit the market. 37 new models are due this year with another 34 coming next year according to Cox automotive. At least 12 of them, including models from a wide variety of automakers, are priced under the February 2024 average new car price of $47,401

By leveraging the power of innovative programs like USGBC California’s Green Homes initiative, we’re working together toward a future in Los Angeles where electric vehicles are not just commonplace around the region, but the preferred mode of transportation for everyone who drives a personal vehicle. To accomplish that goal, we’re on a mission to help Angelenos from every neighborhood know just how affordable a new or used EV can be when stacking incentives. The results can be remarkably surprising! 

This rebate calculator tool can help empower even more individuals and families across Los Angeles to make the switch to electric vehicles with confidence. If we succeed, the day will finally come when that old dirty LA automobile image finally catches up to the new clean LA EV present! 

Ready to make EV rebates easy? CLICK to USGBC California site to see how Incentivize works and saves!

About the Author

Michael Kadish is the Founder and CEO of Incentivize, A company dedicated to making billions of dollars in government and utility incentives for EVs, EV chargers and other climate tech more accessible to consumers by streamlining the user experience so the process works better for people and the planet. Michael is an established leader in clean energy policy as well as solar and EV adoption. His award-winning career includes both Board and Director level policy, public affairs and communications positions in federal and local government, on political campaigns and at venture funded startups. Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with honors from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

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