California Offers Rebates for Electric Car Buyers

The California Air Resources Board is offering a $1,000 rebate towards the purchase of a Xebra electric car and truck from ZAP.

Both the Xebra electric city car and pickup have passed a full battery of testing and approval requirements by the board and have been officially approved for the $1,000 cash rebates. To receive a rebate, vehicles must be qualified and pass a range and speed course as well as comply with all federal motor vehicle safety standards and meet a minimum manufacturer warranty.

"This program alone is enough incentive to stimulate Xebra sales to a whole new level," said ZAP chief executive officer Steve Schneider. "Similar programs in electric car programs in Oregon have helped contribute to the sale of more Xebras."

ZAP says an Xebra can recharge for as little as 60 cents. Schneider noted that the rebate should cover over 30,000 miles of driving, assuming electricity costs of three cents per mile.

Schneider says that ZAP has delivered more than 700 units of the Xebra as of April. ZAP reported a backlog of $6.8 million in Xebra orders, more than sales for all of 2007.

The program is part of $25 million in overall funding that came out of Assembly Bill 1811 -- authored by Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) and passed in 2007 -- which promotes alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicles. The rebates are available for qualifying vehicles that are purchased until March 31, 2009, or until grant funding runs out.

The Xebra is an all-electric vehicle for city driving, up to 40 miles per hour. The sedan is a four-door with room for four, and the truck has a dump bed that can transform into a flatbed.

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