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PHOTO CAPTION: Nissan planned to offer 6,000 LEAFs in the USA first full year of production.

California's $8M Electric Car Rebate Likely to Quickly Run Out

Funding estimated to be enough to cover the first 1,600 Nissan LEAF buyers in California.

Published: 27-Dec-2010

With $8 million in state coffers for the program and the Nissan Leaf now hitting the market, funds for the $5,000 rebate may be depleted by mid-2011, an electric-vehicle advocate estimates.

California consumers counting on a $5,000 state rebate for purchasing an electric car may be in for a shock: The money may not be there when they go to collect.

The state Air Resources Board, which is offering the program for eligible electric and other zero-emission vehicles, has $8 million in its coffers. That's enough to pay out incentives to about 1,600 buyers, estimated Jay Friedland, legislative director of Plug In America, an electric-vehicle advocacy group. But it's well below the expected pace of sales for vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which is just now hitting the market. Friedland doesn't expect those funds to last beyond mid-2011.

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