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8 Benefits Of The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

In recent decades, greenhouse gas emissions have steadily increased as car ownership and travel have increased. Between 1990 and 2018, the number of miles driven by non-electric light-duty vehicles prices — which include light-duty trucks  and passenger cars —increased by 46.1%. 

Moreover, gas-powered vehicles produced over half of the transportation industry's emissions in 2018. This accounted for 28.2% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., the highest share of any industry sector. 

Since the advocacy for cleaner vehicles has gained popularity, most first-time car buyers now prefer electric cars. The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program helps California residents own electric vehicles at an affordable cost. Check out the article below to learn more.

Statistics On Vehicular Maintenance In California

Living and working in California, one of the largest U.S. cities, means that your car is more likely to experience wear and tear issues. Having a basic understanding of vehicular maintenance may help you save money on repairs.

  • Californians spent a total of $1.94 billion on car repair services and routine maintenance.
  • Most car owners spend an average of $300 to $500 on minor car repairs.   
  • The average cost to repair a car in California is 30% more expensive.
  • In 2020, a small sedan had an average maintenance cost of 8.39 cents per mile. A medium SUV, on the other hand, costs 10.11 cents.
  • California residents who drive a 2011 Nissan leaf, an electric car, spent $0 on car maintenance.

Understanding The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program

Understanding The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program

With the help of the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program (CVAP), low-income households in California can afford cleaner and more modern cars. The advantages of owning a clean vehicle, such as lower running costs and maintenance fees, are often outweighed by high upfront prices, inadequate access to charging stations, and overpriced auto loans. To help address these issues, the CVAP aims to provide the following benefits:

Clean Vehicle Grant 

Qualified applicants can receive up to $5,000 in clean vehicle grants, determined based on their income and residency. The total grant amount, however, is calculated according to a household's gross income and the type of electric vehicle they wish to purchase. The clean vehicle grant is also provided at the time of purchase, so recipients won't have to pay out of their pockets.

Charging Station Grant

Electric vehicle owners can easily access public and home charging stations with the grant offered by GRID Alternatives. Each recipient of a charging station grant is entitled to a maximum of $2,000, regardless of whether the recipient stays in an apartment or a single-family house.

Affordable Auto Loan Option

Interest rates for electric car loans under the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program are capped at 8%. This auto loan program—administered by the Beneficial State Bank—is designed to provide financing assistance to low-income families and individuals with poor credit. 

Eco-friendly Nationwide Project

The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is available in several states in the U.S. Although eligibility requirements may vary, the mission remains to make cleaner vehicles with reduced carbon emissions more accessible to the general public. 

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are one of three types of electric cars offered by the CVA Program. An internal combustion engine and a rechargeable high-capacity battery power it. In contrast to diesel or petrol-powered cars, PHEVs are mainly powered by a battery, eliminating the need for expensive refueling. Any electrical outlet in your home or public charging stations can recharge your car battery.

Extended Range Cars

Another option provided by the CVAP is the extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV). This all-electric automobile is designed with an electric motor for its main power and a small internal combustion engine for an additional performance boost. This clean vehicle option offers a greater range of 40 miles than hybrids. 

Battery-powered Automobiles

The CVAP offers qualified applicants the option to purchase battery-powered vehicles. This electric vehicle has several electric motors for increased acceleration and propulsion. Additionally, its rechargeable batteries have greater capacity, allowing for an extensive range of 80 to 350 miles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program. 

What is a CVA Program?

The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program offers grants and loans to help low-income households lease or purchase cleaner electric vehicles.

Who qualifies for CA rebate?

A 2020 California tax return must be filed by Oct. 15, 2021, to be eligible for a CA rebate.

How much is the California gas rebate check?

The federal government of California provides rebate checks of $200 to $1,050 to qualified residents.


Through the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, California residents who meet income eligibility are provided with fair loans and grants to lease or purchase hybrid or electric cars. If you require a vehicle to obtain employment, read this article from Gov Relations on the Wheels For Work Program.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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