ACC offers programs to help residents afford electric vehicles

April 27, 2023 /

A multitude of Access Clean California (ACC) programs are now taking applications to help residents, including those in Kern County, receive grants or rebates for purchasing or leasing electric vehicles. 

Access Clean California is a statewide project that connects residents who are income-qualified with clean energy and transportation benefits; it’s part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that invests in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment.

According to the Access Clean California website, “People who live in the most polluted parts of California often have the least access to clean energy resources like electric vehicles and solar power that can help clean up the air and reduce their energy costs. Access Clean California helps residents with low and moderate incomes get money and other benefits to help them make the switch.”

More than 90 percent of Californians breathe unhealthy air caused by many factors, including pollution from cars’ exhaust pipes and the burning of natural gas in buildings and homes. Air pollution contributes to asthma, lung and heart disease, and many other health problems, as well as climate change. 

“People of color are more likely to live in heavily polluted areas, have worse health outcomes on average than white people, and often have fewer resources to adapt to weather extremes and other climate change impacts,” the Acces Clean California website states. “Both clean transportation and home electrification help reduce pollution and makes the air cleaner.”

To reach its clean air and clean energy goals, California is urging all residents to switch to cleaner fuels. Electric cars and solar panels can be costly upfront so the state created different programs to help residents afford them. 

By using the Access Clean California Benefit’s Finder, Kern County residents can find out which programs they qualify for to reduce or even eliminate up-front costs to purchase or lease a new or used electric, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid vehicle.

As of right now, the programs that are available to Kern County residents are:

  • San Joaquin Valley Air District – Rebate
    • San Joaquin Valley residents get up to $3,000 back when they buy or lease a new all-electric or plug-in hybrid car or all-electric motorcycle.
  • Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)
    • Get up to $4,500 cash back after buying or leasing a new all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. They must apply within three months of purchase.
  • Empower EV
    • PG&E electric customers can get a no-cost home charger and up to $2,000 for electric panel upgrades.
  • Energy for All Program
    • Homeowners can get a no-cost solar electric system to power their homes and electric vehicle.

Infusing more electric vehicles into Kern County provides more than just individual benefits, though, as it provides the United States with a greater diversity of fuel-type options. Not only can EVs reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change, but they can also dampen the reliance on petroleum, which makes communities vulnerable to price spikes and supply disruptions.

Access Clean California has partnered with many state and regional clean transportation and energy programs to make sure residents get all the benefits they qualify for. These programs are supported by California state funds to reduce air pollution.

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Victoria Rodgers

Victoria Rodgers is an editor and reporter for Kern Sol News. Born in Bakersfield, CA, she received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rockford University in Illinois. She can be reached at