Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Questions

Will my credit be affected if I enroll in the EV Equity program?

There is no credit check required to participate in the EV Equity program nor to apply for any grants or rebates. Your credit score will be considered as a typical practice during the vehicle financing process.

Will the EV Equity Program help me with financing/applying for a loan?

The EV Equity Program is not a financial institution. However, we can help connect you with financial education if you request it.

Am I able to have a cosigner?

The incentive applicant must be the one purchasing the vehicle. However, they may have a cosigner for financing purposes. If the cosigning party is a spouse, claimant, or domestic partner, their income will need to be verified for incentive approval purposes. If the cosigning party is not a spouse, claimant or domestic partner, their income does not need to be verified. Keep in mind that the name on the program and incentive documents must match throughout the process. The only time more than one person can be involved on the same paperwork is if there is a cosigner or a co-owner of the vehicle.

EV Equity Program Questions

What kind of electric vehicles does the EV Equity Program assist with?

The EV Equity Program provides assistance for the purchase or lease of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or a battery electric vehicle (BEV). Standard hybrid vehicles do not qualify for the program. You can view the list of eligible vehicles HERE.

What is the cost of enrolling in the EV Equity Program?

There is no cost to participate in the EV Equity Program. This is a state funded program that assists you in learning about electric vehicles and navigating the various electric vehicle incentive applications.

My EV is already ordered, can I still participate in the program?

If you have already ordered a vehicle and it has not been delivered, the EV Equity Program can help you determine what you may qualify for based on your window of delivery. California’s down-payment incentive programs are currently closed and are anticipated to re-open in the coming year. This date may be subject to change. We cannot guarantee that this would grant you enough time to take advantage of any down payment assistance programs; however, you may still enroll in the program to receive assistance with after purchase rebates.

How often should I expect to receive communication from the EV Equity Program?

 The EV Equity Program communicates via phone calls, emails, text messages, and Zoom meetings. During your first appointment with us, we will discuss which methods you preferto best reach you. An updates newsletter will be sent out monthly, and we will further communicate as needed.

Am I required to travel to the EV Equity Program office to begin my applications?

No. The EV Equity Program conveniently offers virtual appointments via Zoom. In -person appointments are available upon request if conditions permit.

Does the EV Equity Program fund the EV grants and rebates?

No. The EV Equity Program is not the administrator of the incentive program funds.

Incentive Program Questions

How long do I have to use the incentive money if I am approved?

On average, your redemption window can be 30 to 60 days. The program approval documents will outline those deadlines for purchasing your EV. We also encourage you to have an idea of the vehicle you want before applying for incentives. This will help to speed up the purchase process once you are approved.

What do I need to start the incentive application process?

After enrolling in the EV Equity Program, the EV Equity Team will need the requested documents listed in the Documents Checklist from the Introduction Packet. Once our team receives your documents, a oneonone meeting with an EV Equity Specialist will be scheduled to confirm eligibility, talk about your vehicle needs, and request additional documents, if necessary.

How many times can I apply for EV grants and rebates?

Each incentive program has different application requirements. Generally, you can only apply once. Your EV Equity Specialist can explain re-application conditions more in depth.

What if I can’t buy a NEW electric vehicle?

We understand that not everyone can afford to purchase a new vehicle. While it is encouraged to purchase new so you are able to redeem all possible incentives, you are able to purchase a used vehicle as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • Is a battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle (30+ electric only miles)
  • It has less than 75,000 miles
  • Is 8 years old or newer
  • Clean title
  • No active recalls

The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program incentive can be applied to a new or used EV ($5000). However, the other incentive programs apply only to new EVs. If you own a vehicle that is 2006 or older, you can receive up to $9500 to scrap and replace your gas powered vehicle through a separate program HERE.

Can I purchase or lease an electric vehicle from any dealership?

Electric vehicles purchased or leased with the down-payment incentive grants must be purchased or leased from participating dealerships. Those dealerships can be found HERE. If a dealership is not enrolled, it may be possible to enroll them, but is not guaranteed.

How will I know if I am eligible for EV grants and rebates?

The EV Equity Program provides a preliminary screening to determine your eligibility. The incentive programs we work with will conduct a more in-depth verification to determine a final decision.

Do I have to pay back any money if I use these incentives?

No. As long as you follow the requirements outlined in the incentive program terms and conditions (register, insure, and own the EV in CA for a minimum of 30 months) you will not have to pay back any grant funding.

Can multiple people in a household apply for incentives?

Yes. Each applicant is treated as an individual, as long as each person plans on purchasing or leasing their own vehicle.

How will I receive the incentive funding if I am approved?

If you apply for down payment assistance toward your new clean vehicle and are approved, you will receive an approval letter via email. The dealership will then use this approval letter as proof of available funding (for the awarded amount) for down payment and will work with the incentive programs to ensure the transfer of funds is processed. If you apply for any rebates after you purchase or lease your vehicle, you will receive a check in the mail within 2-3 months of applying.

Can I move out of state with my EV?

The incentives have a requirement of having the vehicle registered in the state of California for a minimum of 30 months. Once you have passed that time frame, you are free to move or even sell the vehicle.

Is there a price cap for the EVs that qualify for the incentives?

When purchasing or leasing a new EV, there are 2 price caps that depend on the classification of the vehicle. These price caps refer to the base Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the following vehicle categories:

  • Base MSRP of $60,000 or less for vehicles that fall under the Large vehicles category. This includes minivans, pickups, crossovers, and SUVs.
  • Base MSRP of $45,000 or less for vehicles that fall under the Cars category. These are all otherlight-duty vehicles (e.g.; hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, and two-seaters).

I want to buy from a dealer that isn’t enrolled in the EV incentive programs. What should I do?

If you find an EV at a San Joaquin Valley dealership that is not participating in the down-payment assistance programs, please refer the dealership to our Eligible Vehicles and Dealerships page. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, the dealership can request to be contacted by our team and connected with the incentive program personnel to begin the enrollment process. Time of enrollment will depend on how fast a dealership provides documentation to the incentive programs and undergo a short training.

Can I expect to get approved for the EV incentives by participating in the EV Equity Program?

By participating in the EV Equity program, we determine preliminary eligibility for incentives based on the information you provide us. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive approval from the incentive programs. Our EV Equity Team streamlines communication with the incentive program staff to keep you informed about your application status. If you are rejected, and would like clarification, we can request an explanation on your behalf.

EV Questions

What is the lifespan of an electric vehicle battery?

Electric cars have powertrain warranties of 100,000 miles or eight years, as required by law, so inthe event of failure, the battery should be covered for the original owner (used EV buyers shouldensure the warranty transfers to them before buying).

What is the HOV lane (Access OK) sticker for EVs?

HOV lane (Access OK) stickers grant you access to carpool lanes as a clean vehicle driver, regardless of passenger quantity. Although they are not required, they may be something to consider if you travel regularly.

Can I drive my electric vehicle out of state?

You can drive your new EV anywhere you’d like! Most models will even have charging maps as a feature to help you plan your trip with short charging stops.

Will the EV Equity Program help me find an electric vehicle?

Our team works with local dealers to monitor current inventory of vehicles. We then update our ‘Eligible Vehicles and Dealerships’ page so you have regular access to qualifying vehicles, along with the corresponding dealership information. You will be responsible for researching and finding a vehicle that suits you and your family’s budget, lifestyle and needs.

Is a Hybrid vehicle the same as a Plug-in hybrid?

Hybrids are defined as vehicles that have a regular gas-powered engine and a very small elec-tric battery that is charged by regenerative braking; meaningthe small 1-2 kwh battery is recharged when you brake. The wheels are powered by both the gasoline and electric motor and can’t be plugged in to charge the battery. 

Plug-in Hybrids are defined as a vehicle that is gas and battery powered, but the battery is significantly larger and can be charged by plugging into a standard outlet in your garage. Plug-inhybrids can drive on battery power alone with an electric range of up to 50 miles and a totalrange of up to 620 miles when combined with gas power. When the battery runs out, the gasengine takes over and the car operates the same as a regular hybrid until you plug it in andrecharge the battery. Plug-in hybrids are eligible for the incentives as long as they can travel a minimum of 30 all-electric miles.

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