San Francisco Department of the Environment

The 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 vehicle. 
  • 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 is offering a new Clean Fuel Rebate of $800 for customers who purchase or lease an eligible EV (available to customers of Community Choice Aggregators, like CleanPowerSF).
  • 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 EV

  • Discounted Utility Rates - PG&E offers an EV rate for home charging. Find the best EV 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, EVs 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 EV 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. EVs are designed to be as efficient as possible, which means you'll rarely have to have your EV 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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