Riverside residents who want to do their part to curb air pollution and climate change by switching from driving fossil-fuel-powered vehicles to electric-powered cars may be eligible for new financial incentives.
Under a program approved by the Riverside City Council on Tuesday night, Oct. 12, those who buy used electric cars or install vehicle chargers in their garages can apply for rebates from the city’s electric utility.
The council, in a 7-0 vote, gave the green light to a $730,000 program that also will give rebates to business owners who set up electric-vehicle charging stations in the parking lots of Riverside apartment complexes and workplaces.
The program, according to a city report, will provide the following incentives:
- Used electric cars: A rebate of up to $500 to Riverside utility customers who buy a used battery-powered electric vehicle or used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Low-income residents who buy used electric vehicles may qualify for an additional $1,000. The city anticipates offering about 150 rebates for a total of $150,000.
- Home chargers: A $500 rebate applied to residential electric customers’ out-of-pocket expenses in buying a level 2 electric-vehicle charger. The rebate cannot be applied toward the installation cost. However, customers who also choose to install an optional time-of-use meter would qualify for the charger discount, plus an additional $805 rebate to cover the installation expense. In the current fiscal year that runs through June, the city anticipates issuing 260 charger rebates totaling $130,000, and an additional 25 time-of-use rebates adding up to $20,000, for a total of $150,000.
- Charging stations: Commercial customers could receive up to $3,500 for each electric-vehicle charger they install at a business or multifamily residential community, up to a maximum of five charging stations. Affordable-housing communities could apply for an additional $1,000 for each station. The city expects to provide about 100 rebates for a total of $400,000 through the fiscal year.
Rounding out its $730,000 budget, the city intends to spend $30,000 on program marketing and outreach, the report states.
Tracy Sato, power resources manager for Riverside Public Utilities, said in an email that residential customers may begin applying for used electric vehicle rebates or home electric vehicle charger rebates on Monday, Oct. 18. Customers must apply within 180 days of purchase, which must have taken place on or after July 1, to qualify. Customers may apply for both rebates, Sato wrote.
As for commercial customers, they can start applying Monday for rebates for charging stations. To qualify, they must apply within 180 days of completing installations, Sato wrote.
Sato said customers will be able to download applications at https://www.riversideca.gov/utilities/residents/ev.
Applications and copies of required documents can be submitted by email to EVRebate@RiversideCA.gov; by mail to Riverside Public Utilities Customer Resource Center, ATTN: EV Rebate, 3027 Madison St., Riverside, CA 92504; or placed in drop boxes at the city’s downtown and Casa Blanca customer payment centers.
Rebates for the purchase of new light-duty electric vehicles already are available through the statewide Clean Fuel Reward Program. Information is available at https://cleanfuelreward.com.
According to a city report, there are about 2,500 electric vehicles registered to car owners in Riverside.