The Golden State is not only driving EV adoption but also creating an extensive and equitable charging infrastructure. One of the key players in this electrifying journey is the CALeVIP 2.0 Golden State Priority Project (GSPP), which offers incentives for the purchase and installation of public EV charging infrastructure in the northern and southern California regions. 

What is CALeVIP 2.0?

Launched in 2023, the latest iteration of CALeVIP is exclusively geared towards high-speed DC fast chargers and gives preference to applicants who have already initiated site verification, permitting, and utility designs. In simpler terms, CALeVIP 2.0 is tailored for DC fast charger installations that are ready to go.

CALeVIP 2.0 provides rebates for purchasing and installing eligible direct current (DC) fast chargers that are capable of delivering a guaranteed power output of at least 150 kW at each active connector. 

The Golden Rebates

Now, let’s talk numbers. How much can you save? Well, eligible applicants can qualify for rebates of up to $100,000 per connector or up to 50% of their project’s total approved costs. However, there’s a cap of $100,000 per active connector. That’s some serious savings, especially for businesses looking to expand their charging infrastructure.

Targeted Funding

The CALeVIP Golden State Priority project is all about making EV charging accessible to everyone, especially in disadvantaged communities (DAC) or low-income community (LIC) census tracts. To qualify for CALeVIP funding, you must fit the bill. You need to be a site owner or their authorized agent (like a property manager or EV service provider) with a Site Verification Form submitted at the time of application. 

The application window for this exciting opportunity runs from September 13 to December 12, 2023. You can be a business, sole proprietorship, nonprofit organization, or even a public or government entity based in California or operating as a California-based affiliate. California Native American tribes listed with the Native American Heritage Commission are also eligible.

The CALeVIP’s Driving Goals

  • Readiness & Rapid Deployment of Chargers: They prioritize shovel-ready projects, making sure the funding goes where it’s needed most.
  • Fast & Efficient Application Processing: No one likes waiting forever. CALeVIP promises a swift application process, with notices of award sent out just a month after the application window.
  • Equitable Distribution of Chargers: CALeVIP ensures that DC fast chargers are strategically placed in a balance of DAC and LIC populations, making EV charging accessible to everyone.

CALeVIP 1.0 programs fueling EV adoption

Sacramento County Incentive Project

Sacramento County Incentive Project (CALeVIP) is aimed at facilitating easy access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure in Sacramento County. With a substantial budget of $15.5 million, this program offers rebates for both Level 2 and DC fast chargers, totaling $7.7 million for Level 2 chargers and $7.8 million for DC fast chargers. 

What sets this program apart is its commitment to promoting equitable access to EV infrastructure. It offers higher rebates for projects located in Disadvantaged Communities (DAC), with incentives of up to $80,000 per DC fast charger or 80% of the total project cost, whichever is less. Level 2 chargers also receive substantial support, with rebates of up to $5,500 per connector and an additional $1,000 per connector for multi-unit dwelling (MUD) projects within DACs. Projects outside DACs can also benefit from attractive rebates, encouraging a more widespread deployment of EV chargers.

To participate in this program, applicants need to meet specific eligibility requirements and provide essential information, including the installation site address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the rebate recipient. Overall, the Sacramento County Incentive Project plays a vital role in accelerating the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the region, fostering sustainability and environmental progress. For inquiries and further details, applicants can contact the program organizers at 858-429-5205 or via email at sacramento-calevip@energycenter.org.

This program is currently closed to new applications.

Southern California Level 2 Incentive Project

Southern California Level 2 Incentive Project is a pivotal initiative focused on enhancing accessibility to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure across a significant region encompassing Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. With a substantial budget of $23 million in available incentive funds, this program actively promotes the purchase and installation of eligible electric vehicle (EV) chargers within Southern California.

As part of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), this initiative provides compelling incentives for the deployment of Level 2 EV chargers. The program offers a rebate of up to $6,000 per connector for eligible charging equipment installed within the specified counties. Notably, the rebate structure is designed to prioritize equity and inclusivity. It includes a base rebate of up to $3,500, with additional increments of $500 for chargers situated in Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) or Low-Income Communities (LIC), further sweetening the deal with an extra $2,000 for multi-unit dwelling (MUD) sites. In cases where the site qualifies as both a DAC and LIC, each Level 2 connector remains eligible for an additional $500.

Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity promptly, as applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the program began accepting submissions on April 5, 2022. By supporting the widespread installation of Level 2 EV chargers, the Southern California Level 2 Incentive Project significantly contributes to advancing the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, fostering environmental sustainability, and promoting equitable access to EV infrastructure in the region. For further inquiries and information, applicants can reach out to the program organizers at (213) 394-0985 or by email southern-california-level-2-calevip@energycenter.org.

This program is currently closed to new applications.

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU)

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is taking significant steps to promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption by offering enticing EV charger rebates. By collaborating with CALeVIP’s Peninsula-Silicon Valley Incentive Project, CPAU has allocated a substantial $2 million to support commercial customers in their journey toward EV charging infrastructure. 

This initiative extends numerous benefits to businesses, including the potential to enhance property value, attract a broader customer base, extend consumer dwell time by as much as 50%, and establish a green amenity that resonates with employees, tenants, and clients. Moreover, it aligns perfectly with sustainability goals, making it a compelling choice for organizations committed to eco-conscious practices.

Notably, CPAU’s rebates aren’t limited to a specific set of property owners or managers. 

They are available to a diverse range of entities, including businesses, multifamily properties, nonprofits, government-owned properties, and even higher education and K-12 school districts. Furthermore, CPAU extends its support to schools, nonprofits, and multifamily properties in Palo Alto by offering rebates of up to $80,000 for the installation of shared-use EV chargers. This multifaceted approach underscores CPAU’s commitment to fostering EV infrastructure growth across various sectors and demographics, ultimately contributing to Palo Alto’s evolution into a more sustainable and EV-friendly community.

This program is currently closed to new applications.


The New CALeVIP Requirement for Hardware Manufacturers

CALeVIP 2.0 introduces the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) certification requirement for EV charging stations. This requirement holds significant importance as it affects the entire EV charging ecosystem, from manufacturers to users, and underscores the commitment to network interoperability within California’s EV charging infrastructure.

Under the CALeVIP 2.0 eligibility criteria, DC fast chargers are now mandated to utilize open standard protocols like OCPP to facilitate seamless communication and interoperability within the charging network. The California Energy Commission, in its dedication to open and accessible charging infrastructure, utilizes OCPP certification as a means to ensure that all EV charging equipment installed through CALeVIP adheres to this open standard. 

As a result, all DC Fast Chargers (DCFC) seeking eligibility under CALeVIP 2.0 must provide proof of OCPP certification before being included in the CALeVIP Eligible Equipment list.

The initial effective date for these DC fast charger requirements, originally set for July 1, 2023, has been extended to January 1, 2024, to allow manufacturers and stakeholders ample time to adapt. Beyond this extension, the OCPP certification requirement has far-reaching implications for the EV charging ecosystem.


Charging Forward with CALeVIP 2.0 


CALeVIP 2.0 exemplifies California’s dedication to expanding its electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. It’s a resounding declaration from the Golden State that EVs are the future, and accessibility to charging should be universal.

So, if you’re considering installing DC fast chargers in California, be sure to keep a lookout for CALeVIP 2.0’s application window. This isn’t just about saving on costs; it’s about propelling California towards a greener and more sustainable future, one charge at a time.

CALeVIP specifically addresses the EV charging needs of local communities and regions while aligning with the state’s ambitious zero-emission vehicle targets. Over the past half-decade, CALeVIP has allocated over $200 million in funding for EV charging projects across 36 counties.

Funding for CALeVIP is sourced from the Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program, which is investing a substantial $1.4 billion from 2021 to 2024 to expedite the expansion of zero-emission vehicle infrastructure throughout the state.

For comprehensive details on rebate projects, don’t forget to visit the Golden State Priority Project website.

Author

Ivelina Kadiri

Policy Compliance Manager

About the author

Ivelina is a trend-seeking policy compliance manager who skillfully navigates complex regulatory landscapes and bridges the gap between sustainable transportation goals and actionable implementation.