California EV Charging Station Incentives | Oodles Energy

Oodles Energy
February 13, 2024

California EV Charging Station Incentives and Rebates

California has emerged as a leader in EV adoption, with EVs accounting for almost 16% of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2022. This stands in stark contrast to most other U.S. states, which are lagging California by roughly five years in terms of their proportion of electric vehicle sales as evidenced by sales data from 2018 to 2022. To accelerate the state's transition to clean transportation, California has ramped up its EV infrastructure with the California Energy Commission (CEC) approving a significant $3 billion in funding for charging infrastructure. There are several EV charging station incentives and rebates available for hotels, multi-family homes, and mixed-use properties, some of which will be covered in this blog post.

Types of incentives and rebates 

In California, there are incentives available for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, including tax credits, grants, and rebates, which can come at the State, Air District or Utility level. Installing EV charging stations can be particularly beneficial for hotels, multi-family homes, and mixed-use properties as they often receive high volumes of visitors or tenants who require charging facilities. However, the cost of installing charging stations can be a significant obstacle for these types of properties. That's where incentives and rebates can be helpful to help offset the capital expenditure and make the overall economic case more attractive to property owners. 

State Level Incentives and Rebates

1. California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) : The CALeVIP program provides rebates for DC Fast Charging stations installed at qualifying locations throughout the state. To be eligible for CALeVIP rebates, the property must serve the public, such as a hotel, mixed-use development, or multi-family property. CALeVIP offers two types of rebates:

               a. Rebates of up to $70,000 per DCFC station for eligible sites that meet specific criteria, including high utilization rates and/or serving low-income communities.

                b. Rebates of up to $80,000 per DCFC station for sites that meet the above criteria and have at least one charging port that offers 150 kW or greater.

2. California Energy Commission (CEC) Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Financing Program: The CEC EVSE Financing Program provides low-interest loans for EVSE installations, including DC Fast Charging stations, at eligible locations throughout the state. The loan can cover up to 100% of the cost of the charging station and installation, and repayment terms can range from three to seven years.

3. Charge Ready Program: The Charge Ready Program, which is funded through the Clean Transportation Program (CTP), provides rebates for eligible applicants to install EV charging infrastructure at commercial, industrial, and public locations. This program aims to support the installation of EV charging infrastructure in locations where it is needed most. The Charge Ready Program provides rebates of up to 100% of the eligible costs for the installation of qualifying EV charging infrastructure. The program also offers technical assistance to help applicants select the best equipment and installation locations, as well as assistance with the application process.

4. Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP): While CVRP primarily focuses on vehicle rebates, it also provides incentives for EV charging infrastructure installations. Eligible applicants can receive up to $70,000 per site for the installation of Level 2 or DC fast charging stations. However, the amount of the rebate depends on the station’s power output and the location of the site. The rebate is limited to a maximum of 50% of the total cost of the EV charging station, and the remaining cost must be paid by the applicant.

Utilities Level and Air District Incentives and Rebates

Most utilities and air quality/pollution control districts across California offer incentives for EVSE procurement and installation. We are summarizing only a few of these to provide a flavor of what is available:

1. The Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) DCFC Program: PG&E is one of California's largest utilities, serving over 16 million people across Northern and Central California. Under this program, eligible entities can receive a rebate of up to 50% of the total cost of purchasing and installing a publicly accessible DCFC, up to a maximum of $50,000 per DCFC. To be eligible for the PG&E DCFC Program, charging stations must be publicly accessible and available for use by all EV drivers.

2. Southern California Edison (SCE) Charge Ready Program: This program provides incentives for the installation of EV charging stations in new and existing locations, including hotels, multi-family homes, and mixed-use properties. The program offers rebates for up to 100% of eligible costs for EV charging equipment, installation, and related construction costs. The rebate amount varies depending on the location, type of equipment, and other factors.

3. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Commercial Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program: This program provides rebates for the installation of commercial DC fast charging stations. SMUD offers a rebate of up to 50% of the total cost of the equipment and installation, up to a maximum of $5,000 per DC fast charging station.

4. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) EV Charger Rebate Program: LADWP offers rebates for the installation of Level 2 and DC fast charging stations. The rebate amount varies based on the charging station type but can cover up to 100% of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $500 per Level 2 charging port and up to $4,000 per DC fast charging port.

5. San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) Public Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Program: The program offers up to $80,000 for a single DC fast charging station and up to $150,000 for a dual-port DC fast charging station.

6. Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District: The program offers up to a 100% rebate on design, permitting, the cost of procurement and installation of EVSE as well as on-site power generation systems that power the EVSE.

7. Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District: The program offers grants of $10,000 to $250,000 for the procurement and installation of Level 2 or DCFC stations at publicly accessible locations.

We have only summarized a few programs in this article, but you can find more information on others here.

To conclude, here are myriad programs offering significant incentives and rebates for the design, permitting, procurement and installation of EV charging stations across California. Identifying which ones potentially could apply to your property is a key initial step in working out the economic feasibility of installing EVSE at the property. Once the applicable program has been identified, the respective agency itself could offer assistance with the application process. The incentives available can be quite significant and can make the difference between being able to afford DCFC or other high-capacity equipment and having to settle for something less capable, and thus should not be passed on.

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