California's zero-emissions rebate program ironically runs out of green

Californians will have to look elsewhere to start receiving cash back for buying eco-friendly vehicles, as the California Air Resources Board has just announced that its ever popular rebate program is no more for the time being. CARB, as the board also goes by, launched its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) in March of 2010 with initial funding of over $11 million to go around -- but we knew it wouldn't last. According to the CVRP website, the program has issued a little over $7 million worth of rebates thus far, with the rest pending or reserved for the already existing EV-owners.

The board hopes to bring the program back within the next fiscal year by charging it up with $17 million worth of rebates. It'll create more opportunities to get some of these rebates, while simultaneously extending the duration of the CVRP by decreasing the maximum amount to $2,500 (about half of the previous maximum). If you're doing your math correctly, that equates to more than 6,000 total rebates that'll be up for grabs -- opposed to the 1,400 first-rounders who were awarded the rebates already. With luck and some economical upturns, Californian volt-heads can cruise into 2012 with their non-petrol-deficient wallets a little bit fuller.