Monterey County NOW
The Electrify Your Ride EV Incentive Program sets aside a total of $700,000 for residential and commercial customers who purchase a battery electric, plug-in hybrid, electric motorcycle or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The money is available on a first-come, first-served basis—after purchasing or leasing a qualified vehicle, customers fill out an application to receive the cash-back incentive. Public agencies interested in electrifying their transportation fleets are also eligible for up to five vehicles per agency.
3CE especially wants to help low-income customers purchase electric cars. The incentives for income-qualified applicants (those enrolled in PG&E’s CARE or FERA discount programs, or the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) are double—up to $4,000 for a new battery electric vehicle. “I’m hopeful that a lot of this money that we’ve set aside will be used by the community,” says Shelly Whitworth, senior energy media specialist at 3CE. “We all have an even larger hope that a lot of the residents who do participate in the program are in our income-qualified community.”
To reach these people, Whitworth says, 3CE has partnered with various membership organizations including Regeneración, a climate justice organization in Watsonville, and Ecology Action in Santa Cruz. Education about the different incentive programs that exist and how to stack them, Whitworth says, is a definite hurdle to adoption. Making an eco-conscious decision, like choosing to buy an electric vehicle, shouldn’t be something that is only accessible to the wealthy. An initiative like this one can move the needle on that.