California wants 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025 — more than 15 times the number now.
So the state pays buyers $2,500 per car, on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit, to help speed development and promote widespread adoption.
The effort has had mixed results. Sales of electric cars are up but remain well off the pace needed to meet state goals. And the generous subsidies are going largely to some of the state’s wealthiest residents.
Nearly four-fifths of the state rebates went to households earning $100,000 or more, according to a state survey of buyers. Nearly half of those getting rebates for Tesla’s premium electric sedan earned at least $300,000.
With the state’s incentive program constantly running out of funds — about 13,500 buyers are on a waiting list to get their rebate — state lawmakers are now looking to get more of that money into the hands of lower-income drivers.