Consumers looking for California incentives and tax credits for hybrid and electric vehicles better act fast. That’s because the state only has $9.1 million of funding available in the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project until it is used up (or until June 30, 2011, the end of the current fiscal year).

Approximately one-third of the roughly $200 million set aside each year to reduce petroleum consumption and increase transportation efficiency goes to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB), which contracts with the Center for Sustainable Energy to manage the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. The other two-thirds of funding goes to the California Energy Commission.

In order to meet the certification to qualify for the rebate, vehicles must be certified by the ARB as EAT-PZEV – Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.

How does this translate to California incentives and tax credits for hybrid and electric cars?

  • Right now, the all-new and 100 percent electric 2011 Nissan LEAF, a ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle), which just started arriving in California dealerships December 1st, qualifies for a $5,000 tax rebate from the state.
  • The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid qualifies for $3,000.
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Volt does not qualify at all, although the extended-range hybrid is expected to receive certification for the 2013 model year, due out in the summer of 2012. The reason Volt didn’t make certification this time is that regulation calls for a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty on emission system and battery. Volt currently has an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty. There’s also an issue whether Volt’s emission system meets CARB certification.
  • There’s also the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car – which qualifies for a $5,000 state rebate.
  • The Honda FCX Clarity, a fuel-cell vehicle, but still electric-drive with zero emissions (a ZEV), will also qualify for a $5,000 rebate.

Consumers who buy qualified hybrid and electric cars can apply online for the rebate on the day of purchase to the Center for Sustainable Energy. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. While application can be made online, all the required documentation must be mailed in. If funds run out, consumers who’ve applied and been notified of their reservation online are still in the queue. If and when additional funding comes in, consumers still have their spot in the queue and will receive a rebate check when funds are available.

For additional information on California incentives and tax credits for hybrid and electric cars, see “Essential Facts About California’s Electric Car Rebates” on the PlugIn Cars website.

Be sure to also see if the vehicles you’re considering can qualify for a federal tax credit, deduction, or rebate.  Here’s  more info on new car tax credit, hybrid car tax credit, and electric car tax credit from the federal government.  Also, make sure to check out the list of year-end new car deals, new car lease deals, and certified used car deals being offered by the car makers.  Given the year-end and car manufacturers’ desire to sell more cars, there’s great deals to be had if you do your homework and are aware of all the incentives, discounts, rebates you can qualify for.  Here’s some tips on year-end car buying strategy.

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