CARB Considers Eliminating Tesla Model S and Cadillac ELR From CVRP Rebate Program !!

CARB Considers Eliminating Tesla Model S and Cadillac ELR From CVRP Rebate Program !!

CARB Considers Eliminating Tesla Model S and Cadillac ELR From CVRP Rebate Program !!


Jonathan D | 17 April, 2014

Bad idea. Some of us are stretching to purchase a Tesla and the rebate really does make a difference. If I didn't buy a Tesla I wouldn't buy a cheaper EV, I'd probably buy a comparatively optioned BMW or Mercedes that was $10k less to offset the tax savings. The atmosphere does not care how much the car cost that the tailpipe emissions came out of, and neither should CARB. They are confusing their environmental mission with a social one.

tes-s | 17 April, 2014

I disagree with their decision. Each car contributes equally to their mission.

Other states - like NJ - do not charge sales tax. That I disagree with, since Tesla purchases get a bigger break that less expensive cars.

The sales tax (on any of the cars) is much more than the $2500 - so it could be viewed simply as a reduced sales tax on qualifying vehicles.

So much for the argument that Tesla purchases are not driven by the rebates - Tesla says dropping it from $10,000 to $7,500 by eliminating the CA portion would cut their sales in half!!

Car t man | 17 April, 2014

Reduce defense spending and reroute funds to this. Like much of western stuff, Chinese (Russia currently does not get this) will figure out weaponizing against someone living on same planet is dumb and will cut spending because they can't fight smog with missiles. Russians will get that their current route is a misguided one quickly also.

It is true, luxury vehicles may not be the prime candidates in the long run, but the solution isn't in curbing spending on this but increasing it.

uselesslogin | 17 April, 2014

@tes-s, where did Tesla say that? I didn't see it in this article.

uselesslogin | 17 April, 2014

oops can't delete. I guess they did sort of say that...

Mike C | 17 April, 2014

More evidence that CARB has fallen into the pockets of the fool cell industry.

tes-s | 17 April, 2014

@useless: You are right. Tesla said "could jeopardize" not "would cut" 2,500 cars, which is half their annual sales in CA.

NKYTA | 17 April, 2014

+1 Jonathan, my sentiments exactly.

carlk | 17 April, 2014

@Mike C +1 And oil industry. They have finally found something that will continue to use fossil fuel and can utilize their filling station infrastructures too.

Red Sage ca us | 17 April, 2014

So... Business as usual in government. Put together an experimental program. Be surprised that it is actually working. Gimp it so that it is of no use to anyone. Cancel it because it isn't meeting minimum requirements. File a study with the results that proclaims the experiment was a failure and no one should ever bother with this course of action. The end.

Captain_Zap | 17 April, 2014

Be sure and write the board and give them sound reasons why this shouldn't happen. They are supposed to work for you and be concerned about getting as many zero emission vehicles on the road as possible.

Changes like this were a part of what killed the electric car the first time. The loss of incentives shut down the industry for 15 years.

Sudre_ | 17 April, 2014

They could maybe try not offering the rebate to any car that has a combustion engine in it of any kind. At that point some car makers may suddenly discover they can cram a few more batteries in somewhere.

Red Sage ca us | 17 April, 2014

Sudre +1UP!

Whenever I read the pitiful sizes of the battery packs that are in the 'competitors' to Tesla Motors, I don't know whether to laugh or weep.

Rocky_H | 17 April, 2014

@Sudre_ +Many!

SMinnihan | 17 April, 2014

Makes total sense as a flat subsidy creates a much bigger percentage discount off a cheaper car.

If CARB has limited $, obviously better to direct it at cheaper cars to drive EV adoption.

renwo S alset | 17 April, 2014

Does anyone have a link or email address to write CARB?

erici | 17 April, 2014


So you pay $30,000 extra (that you wouldn't pay if you chose another car) for a 85 kWh battery pack.

You get a $2,500 rebate.

The rebate is merely the *additional* sales tax that you had to pay for the big battery.

So if you instead don't buy a Tesla, and you therefore save the $30,000 on the purchase price, you don't get a rebate (nor do you pay the offsetting sales tax on the $30k battery).

It's a total wash from the state's point of view.

Sales Tax on battery is completely offsetting the rebate.

Go buy an ICE car instead -- on the one hand, no rebate check. On the other hand, no offsetting sales tax either.

So why is there a fuss over this?

Dwdnjck@ca | 17 April, 2014

I always looked at the rebate from ca. as a rebate of a portion of the sales tax. I felt this was fair since the model S is a car that many people buy when the don't actually need a new car. That was certainly the case for me. While a discount on sales tax is nice, I don't really think the loss of the rebate will affect sales that much.

Captain_Zap | 18 April, 2014

Here is information on the ZEV program modifications that are getting butchered.

Check out the list of commenters and comments:

Unfortunately, the public comment period closed for these proposed modifications just yesterday. It might be worth a formal protest since we are just learning about it now. The entire list of proposed changes was alarming. Here is just one example of a "minor modification".

"Though staff does recognize the potential for a battery exchange to help market the vehicle, other vehicles earning Type IV and V ZEV credit depend on fast refueling for vehicle operation and success. Staff is
proposing to remove battery exchange from qualifying under the fast refueling definition, starting in 2015 model year.

"Hydrogen fast refueling capable Type V ZEVs will still earn 9 credits each in model years 2015 through 2017 upon placement in service. Staff believes it is important to maintain the difference in credit level between the two ZEV technologies to ensure appropriate incentives are in
place to support hydrogen technologies as infrastructure ramps up through 2017. Hydrogen remains a long term solution for all vehicle classes, and is essential for meeting California’s long term air quality and GHG reduction goals."

Not only are they trying to kill battery swap program altogether even though it might be critical for fleet adoption, they are favoring another technology that has so many significant shortcomings.

Contact info for CARB:

Ombudsman contact info:

From the Ombudsman page: "Frequently, small businesses, community activists, and private citizens do not have the necessary resources to play a major role in the development of regulations that affect them. If you have an interest in a specific air quality issue, the Ombudsman and her staff can help you gain access to the regulatory process. We want everyone who chooses to do so, to have an opportunity to participate in the development of California's air quality programs. We will work with you to determine ways in which you can get involved."

Captain_Zap | 18 April, 2014

Public Meeting about rebate program waiting list on April 25th.

April 21 is the deadline for written comments.

Captain_Zap | 18 April, 2014

Proposal to eliminate Tesla Model S and Cadillac ELR due to $60k+ price is on page 23.

They need to know that a less expensive vehicle wouldn't have been capable of making EVs viable and mainstream. They still need to maintain that pricing until the technology can get scaled up and until the general public is willing to make the leap to new technology. It is a matter of risk reduction for the manufacturer and for the consumer.

They want to kill a program that created the success they were seeking. I don't agree with some of the information they used to promote a decision to eliminate the more advanced EVs that can travel longer distances. It essentially is because someone labeled the cars as luxury and the buyers as rich people that would have paid more anyway.

I can't find the appropriate place to comment on the modification. Perhaps it will be addressed at the April 24 & 25 Public Meetings.

Contacts are at the end of this presentation:

More commenting information:

Mark K | 18 April, 2014

Denying Tesla vehicles this rebate punishes the innovator who's having the greatest effect on EV adoption.

Tesla is the first and only manufacturer to build a car with sufficient range to convince buyers that an EV is a viable, mainstream alternative.

Many people who normally don't buy premium cars stretched hard to buy a Tesla, because it could viably replace their consumption of gas.

It is those mid-income buyers who would be most harmed by this proposed change. Those people on the margin would be prevented from switching to an EV because of a very discriminatory decimation of the law.

Today, buying a lower-end EV means having to keep a gas car for longer trips (and probably an older, higher pollution model at that). This does not help reduce the population of gas cars.

This proposed discriminatory revision defeats the chartered purpose of the law, and conflicts with the CARB, mission, which is to reduce air pollution.

The factions attempting this cynical change will see very fierce pushback.

Mark K | 18 April, 2014

The staff commentary in favor of Hydrogen is evidence of bias coherent with gasoline vehicle manufacturers.

Mark K | 18 April, 2014

The proposed revision does not discriminate against the rich, but instead against range.

Low to mid income buyers who need range would be shut out, resulting in more gasoline cars on the road.

This is truly the opposite of the CARB mission.

JonathanL | 18 April, 2014

Based on sales, GM may eliminate the ELR, before CARB does anything. That would place CARB in the position of singling out Tesla.

mb30 | 18 April, 2014

Well the silver lining in this it that it might push Tesla to get Gen 3 out faster. Gen 3 would still get the credit etc..

stevenmaifert | 18 April, 2014

Captain_Zap - Thanks for posting the reference material. So it would be an across the board reduction in the rebate amounts, with a $60K purchase price cap. I think Tesla is overstating the projected impact on their CA sales if this rebate goes away. Their comments about this and the loss of the CARB "fast fueling" incentive credits that they sell just gives ammunition to the naysayers who argue green companies like Tesla can't survive without government subsidy to incentivize the production and sale of their product. Tesla - lay low and press on!

AmpedRealtor | 18 April, 2014

We are only talking about $2,500 on a generally $100,000 car. That's 2.5% of the car's cost. I don't think anyone would really use this as a reason not to purchase a Model S. Now it would be a bigger deal if we were talking about the federal tax credit, but we're not. We're just talking about California. I doubt it would have any impact on Model S sales.

carlk | 18 April, 2014

@Mark K +1. Range should be part of the equation too. I would think Leaf owners tend to drive another ICE car more so than MS owners because of the range limitation.

Webcrawler | 18 April, 2014

Here is GA we get a $5,000 rebate. The republicans tried to remove it this year but did not get the bill passed in time. It will be gone next year.

The sad part is that I paid about $6,400 in sales tax. I would NOT have bought any other car from any other manufacture so the state would NOT have made over $1,400 off of me even with the rebate.

It is true that I might have purchased the car anyway, but it was a huge Plus to have this credit at the state level and I might not have done it without it....

Red Sage ca us | 18 April, 2014

The appeal of Hydrogen Fuel Cells to traditional automobile manufacturers is similar to the appeal of compact discs to recording labels or DVDs to movie studios.

Record Industry and Movie Studio executives have spent decades selling various round things. Tapes or films on reel-to-reel... Tapes on cassettes, audio, Beta, or VHS... Compact Disc, DVD, and BluRay...

Round things. It's what they know. It is something that they can quantify as 'units' to measure sales.

So they continue to resist the notion of moving into a digital age for distribution of media. They just don't like it. Not. One. Bit.

Members of The Olde Guard of Automobile technology are simply used to the notion that every 300-to-500 miles or so, you will stop to fill up a tank with something. Diesel, Gasoline, Kerosene, Ethanol, Compressed Natural Gas, etc... It's what they know.

So they prefer something that is familiar. Measurable. Quantifiable. Billable. In real world terms.

They wonder, quite literally, "WTF is a kilowatt-hour?" They don't like electric power. Not. One. Bit.

From their point of view, Hydrogen is just one more thing that you fill a tank with. They get that. It works for them. So, they want to build cars that fit that model. It's just too hard for them to give up what they know, because that would require admitting someone else knows better.

Apparently, CARB agrees with them. Any chances there are former automotive executives on that board? Tailpipes for everyone! Yay!

Skotty | 18 April, 2014

How can the board read the following from the Tesla comments submitted by Diarmuid O'Connell of Tesla Motors and not be totally on board with what he is saying?

Here is an excerpt:

"We agree that the spirit of the provision is that the technology is not only present but also accessible and in use by customers. This requirement, that FR be accessible and in use, applies no matter what technology is being considered for FR, whether it be battery electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles. To prohibit a specific technology from earning credits not only fails to solve the problem, it discourages research and development in an area that has great potential to transform the ZEV market -- the ultimate goal of the ZEV Mandate.

We recommend an alternative to staff's proposal of removing battery swap from FR eligibility. Instead, we propose a technology neutral approach, which addresses the core issue of implementation. Specifically, we propose that manufacturers wishing to receive FR designation submit data on an annual basis to ARB staff showing that their FR technology is both available and in use by customers. ARB staff will then review the submissions and grant fast refueling designations when the goal of the mandate is clearly being fulfilled. Given the nascent stage of this technology we recommend the Board leave FR designation open to ARB's review, and only consider specific criteria once the market potential is more clearly understood."

BINGO! Tesla indicates they are perfectly willing to forgo the FR benefit until it can submit data that shows it works and is in use to the satisfaction of the ARB, so long as all FR technologies are held to the same standard. What more needs to be said?

Skotty | 18 April, 2014

Oddly, among the other manufacturers, even Nissan supports the proposed changes as written. These are the kinds of things that make me more and more sure I will only ever buy cars from Tesla in the future. Forget the others. Tesla, you have my support, but in spirit and from my wallet.

Al1 | 18 April, 2014

If fund resources are getting depleted the problem won't be resolved by singling out Tesla.

EV market is growing and this is good thing and purpose of the project. But it also means the fund is being depleted by the most successful cars, versus loser ones. The root cause of the problem can't be resolved unless successful models are put at a disadvantages versus less successful ones. But this approach defeats the purpose of the rebate project itself.

Because the mandate is called Clean Vehicle Rebate, then all clean vehicles should be funded, the most successful ones in first place.

The most logical conclusion would then be to draw funding for clean vehicles by introducing sales tax on dirty ones. And because the government also wants to be socialist and populist and subsidize poor at the expense of rich, why not introduce additional sales tax on dirty vehicles priced above 50.000?

Red Sage ca us | 18 April, 2014

"And because the government also wants to be socialist and populist and subsidize poor at the expense of rich, why not introduce additional sales tax on dirty vehicles priced above 50.000?"

Works in Norway.

stevenmaifert | 18 April, 2014

There are two CARB issues in the works:

1) One is a proposal for an across the board reduction in CVRP rebates, with eligibility limited to qualifying vehicles with an MSRP up to 60K. Okay that sucks for Tesla fans, but I doubt many California taxpayers are going to be sympathetic about a loss of a $2500 subsidy to folks who can afford a $100k +/- premium luxury sedan. While we worry about saving the planet from environmental armageddon, they worry about feeding their families.

2) The other is Tesla losing extra "ZEV Gold" credits for fast-fueling ability because CARB proposes eliminated battery swapping from their FR criteria. This article seems to suggest that Tesla lost out because they weren't forthcoming to the CARB regarding the details of how their system would work or when it would become a practical reality: Don't know if CARB had a hard deadline for submission, but if that's the case, shame on Tesla. I do hope the CARB will reconsider.

Kleist | 18 April, 2014

@stevenmaifert - the agenda is clear... promote Hydrogen vehicles. The only reason BEVs were included because they were sure nobody could do it. Now that it is done they change the rule.

Red Sage ca us | 18 April, 2014

Kleist: Precisely.

"You're the fastest runner, but you're not allowed to win." - Howard Jones, 'No One is to Blame'

Captain_Zap | 18 April, 2014


It is long range EVs that are being sacrificed, not luxury vehicles. They lost track of why the Model S is expensive. I don't understand why the Cadillac is expensive though, since the batteries are not that big. Perhaps that is a public comment that they would respect and it could compel them to change the criteria.

I'd support restricting the rebate it to strictly battery electric cars. That would make much more sense and it would be a respectable decision.

Brian H | 19 April, 2014

I don't think MS-demand is that price elastic; it's a short-term problem, if that.

Al1 | 19 April, 2014

Then the program should be terminated altogether. Because all other cars, but Tesla are really compliance cars and often times not even officially available outside California. The mission of the program should be adoption of Clean Vehicles, not fooling the program or redistribution of the wealth.

l.j.noordsij | 19 April, 2014

I don't live in CA or even the US but in The Netherlands. I got my MS three weeks ago and one of the things that please me is the fact that I can charge anywhere. With my solars there is enough electricity to "feed" both our Nissan Leaf as the MS.
Yes, the case was expensive to buy, No the car is not expensive to drive. With 30.000 km (about 20.000 miles) a year the savings on gas are, considering the high price of gas in Europe, about 4.500 euro which means around $.6000,00, each year! Together with the minimum maintenance costs we can say that after 5 years a lot of the price difference has vapored.

Back to the topic that deals with the hydrogen thing. You still will be needing gasstations. You cannot charge at home or anywhere else. That would be a major loss.

In one topic I did read a reaction that said that Tesla brought together the advantages of motorized transportation and the horse. The horse can find some grass anywhere. So does our Model S. It can eat from 135 kW (maybe also more) Superchargers to grid power in faraway districts where it still can eat from power brought down to 5 Amp. Of course that takes time but mostly in those districts (in my case villages in Eastern Europe) there is plenty of time.

I have been searching for arguments that could convince me that hydrogen is better than battery power obtained by sustainable solars and that that is worth the dependency of fuel stations.

Captain_Zap | 19 April, 2014


The problem in the US is that the price and cost of gas is artificially low, and automakers do not want to make these vehicles. But, this isn't the thread for that argument.
I don't want to de-rail the thread.

The point is that long range EV's need to be supported until consumers and the general public starts to see the big picture. It is an investment in the future of society, mother earth and public health.

I wouldn't have bought a long range EV without the range. I needed to see a real BEV. I didn't want to support a half hearted or feigned attempt. I needed to see the support of the government too since they abandoned us before. These programs told me that they were committed to the concept for a significant period of time. This makes it look like they are changing their minds again.

The loss of incentives killed the electric car in the 1990's in just a few short months. So far, there are very few people and fewer companies that are taking another chance on the electric car. (Fuel Cell technology is just another diversion.)

Most "EV" attempts are paying "lip service" and make veiled attempts to get out of paying Tesla credits. It must pain legacy automakers tremendously to be cutting a check to Tesla. They didn't think Tesla could be successful. Now they are starting to attack the policy now that Tesla is making an impact. They could have stepped up to the plate long ago but they chose not to. Now this campaign for policy change is their way of getting out of it.

In our youth, when we could work until the wee hours of the morning, we had a start-up part-time car charging design company. That was the the 1990's. My spouse was flying in and out of Sacramento on a regular basis after his day job to help with creating a real BEV. He drove just about every prototype ever made. He was impressed. But, the business was shut down because there was no one left to help after they pulled the plug on the programs. The money and time was written off to experience and the dream of a real, viable BEV was all but forgotten until Tesla came along.

All the development programs and research was shut down in a few short weeks once the incentives were gone. Then legacy makers started towing away all the leased EVs. Legacy automakers were not going make an effort unless there was a threat to their comfort.

All that was left was the enthusiasts, the passionate engineers, volunteers and visionaries that couldn't live with giving up on the dream.

l.j.noordsij | 19 April, 2014


Thank you for your reaction. I agree with you.
On the other hand I think I have a point when I say that the situation in 2014 is different from what we faced in the 1990's. In the period following the 1990's we have seen the internet growing to be a worldwide standard, we have seen the revolution that was brought by the iPhone and later the iPad and now we see what can happen in mobility.

There is much more awareness of the interests and the power of the established society and of course the "leading" industries.

At this moment around 40.000 MS drivers enjoy their car, I am one of them, and that number is growing rapidly. A country like Norway can't live without this car anymore. It outsold all others cars recently.
Already > 13.000 made a reservation for the Model X, without even seeing one. The Tesla policy is clear and heading towards a mass vehicle in a few years that is affordable. To reach that goal we all now contribute by buying our Model S and Model X.

Over here in Europe on the fora we see many topics about the Superchargers. With the summer season ahead there is much activity on the locations where the SC will be found. Finding new SC looks like searching eastern eggs:)

I really don't think that we all can be stopped by whatever decision that will be made. This train is moving to fast. We can expect more criticism because the ice industry will feel the threat. The wisest thing for them to do would be acknowledging that they MUST change their course, inspire of all the investments, and just say that they will follow what Tesla does. Anyhow that is a successfull path.

I am 62 years old and had many cars in my life that I liked. But the Model S is the first car that I, and my family, love. In a week from we will be traveling to Hungary with our Model S. Two third of the trip we can already make on the existing SC's. As it looks like we can drive end of the year, on our Christmas visit to our family in Budapest, complete on SC's. Difference? 500 euro on fuel costs per trip ($620,00). Nobody can take that away form us anymore. But still, it would be better if there was a consistent policy that was not dependent of the interest of the industries but was lead by the interest of the people.

Pungoteague_Dave | 19 April, 2014

So the company cannot survive without incentives? Please - maybe a few sales lost, but many of us bought the Model S with no state/local incentives, and would do so again. Any private business that depends long term on government subsidies is immoral. I can see start-up assistance, but eventually standard economics must prevail. Especially in the luxury category.

In a Machiavellian way of thinking, it is possible that Tesla privately roots for eliminating the battery swap-level credits, so they don't get stuck building a system, or even one swap station, that is impractical and economically nonviable anyway. Elimination of the credits gives them the perfect reason to officially terminate the program - and blame someone else for something that would have otherwise failed on their watch. I can hear it now - the fanbois will adopt the mantra - "If it weren't for loss of CARB, we'd have a great battery swap network by now!" And us pragmatists won't get the victory lap... no one will win the debate when the rug is pulled out...

Brian H | 21 April, 2014

Easter eggs

Post pix of a few sites of SCs in eastern Europe. Haven't seen any yet, of course!

l.j.noordsij | 21 April, 2014

Brian H

I spoke about SC in Europe. Now a few more are confirmed and under construction.

I hope soon the main corridors will be covered.

In (former) Eastern Europe there are no SC (mostly also no charging stations). I hope that some places like Budapest will have one soon.

For now I am very happy that my Model S can charge in about every situation, even on a weak grid in some faraway region.

300k | 21 April, 2014

You have to remember that CARB is the same knuckle heads that added MTSB to the gas even after Sweden advised that it was a major pollutant. But they did anyway so that the oil companies could charge more for gas and dispose of a stock of toxic crap.
We the voters need to eliminate this state asshole group. What seems to be paid off by anyone who wants to bribe them.

TeslaLandShark | 21 April, 2014

Isn't it ironic that the California Air Board wants to eliminate the $2500 rebate on the only car that is actually MANUFACTURED in California?