How Clean Energy Incentives Helped Launch an Electric Vehicle Revolution

How Clean Energy Incentives Helped Launch an Electric Vehicle Revolution

In 2018, there were a total of 73,329 rebates issued through the CVRP, which include rebates given out for hybrids, full-battery run, non-highway EV’s, and fuel-cell EV’s. That’s a dollar amount of $173,358,752. That is up significantly from the 47,758 rebates issued in 2017, at a dollar amount of $114,804,750. Clearly consumers are trying to get what’s left of the Federal EV Tax Credit, as well as take advantage of the $2500 CVRP that is still available for this extremely popular EV.

The EV + Solar Connection

For electric vehicle owners, it makes sense to install solar to offset their EV charge. To be able to power your EV with solar is to achieve the highest level of green living – not only are you creating your own power from the Sun, but you are no longer purchasing fossil fuels and supporting that industry. The other obvious benefit is that it can save you a ton of money, as you no longer pay for power, or gas – which for some people who have long commutes, can really reduce expenses. 

While not every EV owner has solar, there is a clear correlation between owning an EV and installing solar. According to a survey by Clean Technica, only 13% of non-EV drivers have solar, which is 15% less than EV drivers at 28%. So by this you can infer that almost ⅓ of people who are buying electric vehicles are also buying solar to offset their electric vehicle charging.

The question that remains here is whether these EV owners, who we know are more likely to install solar, are installing solar to offset their EV usage, or if they are buying an EV because they have solar. There’s no way we can know, but what we can infer, with the correlation between incentives, tax credits, and EV sales, that these consumers are at least partly driven by these Tax Credits and rebates. It would make sense then that along with buying the EV due to incentives, that they probably bought solar to get the incentives available for that as well. For the truly savvy consumer, getting the EV and solar in 2018 would allow them to stack incentives on each item which equals out to a huge amount of savings. So let’s look at the incentives for solar that are still available, to see if that likely had an influence on these consumers.

The Federal Solar Tax Credit

The biggest incentive for installing solar is the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, which gives homeowners who purchase solar an income tax credit worth 30% of the cost of their solar installation. The astronomical rise of solar in the last 10 years has been largely credited to the Federal Tax Credit, as it has made solar power affordable for a much larger percentage of homeowners. Much like the Tax Credit we have discussed for EV’s, the Solar Tax Credit has a phase out period before it completely goes away. It just so happens that 2019 is the last year of the full 30% credit – after this year it goes down 4% for two consecutive years – then goes away completely.  So for those EV owners who are looking to install, 2019 is the last year to get the Full Credit.

2019 is the Last Year to Stack Incentives

So if you’re looking to buy an electric car and you’re looking to install solar to offset it’s charge, 2019 is the last year for you to save the most money on your purchase with incentives. Let’s go over what is still available in 2019:

$7,500 – $1,850 Federal EV Tax Credit (depending on the model)

$2,500 California Clean Vehicle Rebate project (for those that qualify)

30% Federal Solar Tax Credit

Like we have said, the 30% Federal Tax Credit is phasing out after this year, and for some models, like the Tesla Model 3, the Federal EV Tax Credit will be phasing out after this year. So by buying an EVE and going solar in 2019, you will maximize your savings. If you wait, you will be leaving money on the table, not only in incentives, but all the money you could be saving on gas and your power bills.

So, as you can see, clean energy incentives, both for electric vehicles and solar installation, have jump started an electric vehicle revolution. The combination of incentives for both electric vehicles and solar continue to open up electric vehicle ownership to a larger demographic. The good news is that there is still time to get in on these amazing savings, but only for the rest of the year – so don’t miss out.