San Francisco Environment Department

Benefits of Buying an Electric Car

As EVs become more mainstream, the costs are dropping rapidly and there are a wide variety of benefits for drivers making the switch. From fuel savings to reduced tax and maintenance costs, electric vehicles could help save you money and have a positive impact on the environment. 

Available Rebates & Tax Credits

  • The Federal Government offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 for all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased new in or after 2010. Here is a breakdown of tax credit amounts by car. 
  • The State of California provides a rebate of $1,000 to $4,500 through the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) for the purchase or lease of qualified vehicles. Qualifying low-income households may receive an additional $2,500 rebate.
  • PG&E’s Empower EV Program offers incentives up to $2,500 for income-eligible households to help cover the costs of purchasing and installing electric car charging equipment.
  • The California Clean Fuel Reward takes up to $750 off the purchase price of eligible electric cars at participating automotive retailers.
  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Clean Cars for All program provides incentives of up to $9,500 for low-income Bay Area residents to retire their older car and replace it with a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery, or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. 
  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Clean Cars for All program provides grants of $7,500 to income-qualified Bay Area residents of Disadvantaged Communities to retire their older car and replace it with an electric bicycle. 


Perks of Driving an Electric Car

  • Discounted utility rates: PG&E offers an electric car rate for home charging. Find the best rate for you here
  • HOV carpool benefits: You can drive your qualifying electric car in the carpool lane anytime with a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker. 
  • Fuel savings: Driving an electric car could save you money every time you travel. Compared to traditional gas cars, electric cars are cheaper to run and far more efficient to drive. Check for public charging using apps or online maps, such as 
  • Cheaper to maintain: While the price of an electric car may be similar to most comparable gas-powered vehicles, the cost of running one is significantly cheaper, particularly over the full lifetime of the vehicle. Electric Cars are designed to be as efficient as possible, which means you'll rarely have to have your electric car serviced, and the running and repair costs are minimal. This electric car overview goes into depth on the various benefits for the different electric car types. 
  • Better for the environment: Fully electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions making them greener, cleaner, and better for the environment than gas or diesel cars. Less emissions mean reduced greenhouse gasses, enabling San Francisco to move towards net-zero emissions by 2050. 


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