State rebate program putting drivers in clean-tech vehicles 

click to enlarge California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project provides rebates of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a light-duty, zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicle. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project provides rebates of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a light-duty, zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

San Francisco resident Shanthi Rajagopalan used to feel bad about driving to work alone, putting pollutants into the air without even carpooling. Then she learned of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

The project provides rebates of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a light-duty, zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Rajagopalan went with the Mitsubishi i.  

“It’s really, really fun to drive; I actually look forward to my commute,” she said, adding that, “It feels really good to have less of an impact on the environment.”

The project is part of the state’s Air Quality Improvement Program, which was implemented in 2007. Funding comes primarily from the smog abatement fee. In June, the California Air Resources Board approved $27 million for the air quality program, saying a majority of the money will go to the clean vehicle project.

The project has been a success since launching in March 2010, providing more than 8,500 rebate checks totaling more than $23 million to California residents, businesses, government entities and nonprofit organizations, said Colin Santulli, a program manager for the project.

“A tax designed specifically to improve our air quality is going directly towards helping take smog-producing cars off the road,” said San Francisco resident Brian Glick, who owns an electric Nissan Leaf. “It’s perfect.”

kfigard@sfexaminer.com

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Kayla Figard

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