Santa Barbara’s local government has introduced a cash rebate program for residents who purchase or lease electric vehicles (EVs). The rebate program is being offered by Santa Barbara Clean Energy, a local program that provides zero-emission electricity to residents.

The incentive is available until the program funds are depleted. The new EV rebates aim to reduce costs and promote the city’s goal of carbon neutrality.

All Santa Barbara Clean Energy customers qualify for a $1,000 rebate, with an increased rebate of $2,000 for those enrolled in income-qualified programs. Furthermore, the rebate can be combined with the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

The rebate is available for both new vehicles and used vehicles. Used vehicles must be model year 2017 or newer, and they must have fewer than 75,000 miles on them.

In addition, more limited rebates are available for electric motorcycle purchases. New electric motorcycles are eligible for a $750 rebate, which increases to $1,500 for income-qualified customers. No rebates are available for used electric motorcycles.

The rebates apply only to EVs with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $80,000. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, applicants can expect to receive their rebate within 45 days of submitting the necessary documentation.

Any Santa Barbara resident currently enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program or the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program is considered income-qualified. Residents enrolled in the SNAP, CalWorks, and LIHEAP programs are also considered income-qualified.

In addition to cash rebates, Santa Barbara is making other policy changes to encourage EV adoption. In mid-November, the city introduced on-demand permitting for EV charger installations.

On-demand permitting allows local residents to apply for EV charging permits online and get instant approval. No contact with city staff is required.

For more information, visit or call (805) 538-1810.

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