Are you spending this Presidents Day shopping for a car? Don’t limit yourself to gasoline-powered cars. There are some great deals out there for plug-in vehicles - fully electric vehicles (EV) and hybrids.
Whether you plan to do your EV shopping online or in person this holiday weekend, we have resources to help you. There is a one-stop shop where you can find out all about federal, state, and local financial incentives, plus fuel cost saving comparisons between driving an EV and a gasoline counterpart.
The one-stop shop is plugstar.com/sdge – a portal customized with local information, including details about EV charging pricing plans available to SDG&E customers. We partnered with the nonprofit Plug In America to bring this EV shopping assistant to our region.
This website is the equivalent of Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book – specifically designed for EV shoppers. Shoppers can compare cars across cost, range, emissions, popularity, and other factors.
Certified/Trained EV Sales People
So once you have found your ideal EV online and you are ready for a test drive, where do you go?
The good news is there are local car salespeople who have undergone specialized training through Plug in America's PlugStar program. The training aims to elevate the EV buying experience for consumers, to ensure they are provided exceptional customer service. Once salespeople undergo the training, dealerships receive the PlugStar certification.
Click here to see the complete list of local dealerships whose salespeople have graduated from the PlugStar program.
State and Federal Incentives for Buying EVs
To put EVs within the reach of everyday Californians, the state Air Resources Board, through its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), provides rebates ranging from $1,500 to $4,500 for fully electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars. The amount of the rebate varies depending on the vehicle make and model and the applicant’s household income. Those who meet certain income criteria are eligible for enhanced EV rebates of up to $4,500.
Under a pilot program for San Diego County, called Rebate Now, EV shoppers may apply for a pre-approved rebate upfront to lower the down payment for a new ride.
At the federal level, a tax credit of up to $7,500 is available for those who buy an EV. The amount of the credit varies based on the battery capacity and personal tax situations.
Champions for Clean Air Offers $1,000 Rebate
Through SDG&E’s Champions for Clean Air program partnership with Plug in America, local teachers and first responders, including firefighters, police officers, Sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical technicians, are eligible to receive a $1,000 point-of-sale rebate toward the purchase or lease of an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Learn more about the application process here.
EV Climate Credit
All SDG&E customers who own or lease a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle are eligible for the annual EV Climate Credit – made possible through the California Air Resources Board’s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, more than 13,500 local EV drivers received a $500 EV Climate Credit. The application period for the 2019 EV Climate Credit will be announced in the near future.
EV shopping assistant with customized information about local dealerships: plugstar.com/sdge.
Curated resources to answer all your EV questions, including information on EV charging pricing plans and charging infrastructure programs: https://www.sdge.com/residential/electric-vehicles.