California wants more drivers to get away from the gas pump.
On Tuesday, the state upped its cash rebate offer to low- and moderate-income earners who buy electric cars like Teslas or plug-in hybrids, which go a certain distance on a charge before using gas.
Buyers of those cars can now get up to $6,500 in cash from the state, and a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government.
Households that earn triple the federal poverty limit qualify for the rebate, so a family of four can gross as much as nearly $73,000 a year and be eligible. An individual can earn as much as $35,000 a year to qualify.
Sarah Stone, an El Cajon resident who has a Mazda 3, said it would be great to get cash back, but that there are other costs involved. Plug-in hybrids and electric cars are also more expensive than traditional vehicles.
Stone said she puts 32,000 miles on her car a year and buys $40 to $50 in gas a week. She said she's also paying for convenience and peace of mind.
"Not everywhere offers the plug-ins yet, so it would be kind of hard to find," she said. "And then you'd have to make sure you have the plug-in at your house."
Brett Griffitts of Perry Ford of Poway said the plug-ins offer the best flexibility.
"You don't have to worry about running out," he said. "It's not like driving a golf cart where you only have an electric mode."
For more information on the state's increased rebate program, visit https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng .