An electric car charging in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

New electric vehicle incentive offered to customers of 3CE in Santa Cruz County, elsewhere

Central Coast Community Energy is offering a new electric vehicle incentive program that will offer up to $5,000 for qualified customers.

Central Coast Community Energy (3CE), a community choice energy agency that serves 100,000 customers in Santa Cruz County, on Wednesday announced new incentives for electric car purchases.

The incentives are available to all 3CE customers, with increased incentives for income-qualified customers. They can be applied to both new and used purchases.

Electric vehicle incentives offered by 3CE
(Central Coast Community Energy)

”We’re thrilled about this,” said Nancy Faulstich, the director of the Regeneración climate justice organization in Pajaro Valley, who has worked closely with fellow non-profit Ecology Action to increase access to electric vehicles throughout the county. Faulstich said this new incentive would help fill in the gap of a previous program from the Monterey Bay Air Resources District that has expired.

Kirsten Liske, the vice president of community programs for Ecology Action, said they have launched a purchase guidance assistance program to help people navigate the electric vehicle purchase process and take advantage of assistance. They have trained 20 volunteers to provide this service, and will also soon be launching a marketing campaign in Spanish to increase awareness of the incentives available.

Ecology Action has compiled information on the total rebates available to help buyers choose electric cars; combining local, state, and federal programs can bring the total incentive for some buyers to $12,000.

Transportation accounts for about 40% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and while the state has made significant progress reducing emissions from other sectors, notable electricity generation, transportation has not seen the same gains.

Greenhouse gas emissions in California by category.
Greenhouse gas emissions in California by category.
(California Air Resources Board)

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order in September 2020 directing the state to require that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles. The state said this would achieve “more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”