Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Driving Clean Assistance Program.

What is DCAP?

DCAP is a financial education and down payment assistance program for clean energy vehicles offered to low-income families/individuals. We offer two services: a grant of up to $5,000 (amount depends on income level and the vehicle type) and financing of up to $20,000. An applicant may apply for just one service or both.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility is based on several criteria which includes the California county where you reside and qualifying household income, which is 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Check if you qualify by entering your gross income and county of residency.  (Click here to see if you are eligible.)

What is the process?

  • Inquire to begin application process
  • Complete your application
  • We’ll verify your income and other documentation please fax or email application and items on checklist to DriveEVgrants@communityhdc.org or 510-439-4898
  • Participate in financial education training
  • After completion and approval, purchase your clean vehicle

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What is the processing time?

  • Due to high demand for DCAP grants, our processing time is taking approximately 12 weeks. Applications are processed in the order received. Please note, this is an estimation. Actual processing times may vary depending on demand.

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What vehicles are eligible?

Any vehicle qualifying as a plug-in hybrid, hybrid, battery electric, or fuel cell. Both new and used vehicles are acceptable for either purchase or lease.

Used vehicles must meet the following restrictions:

  • Less than 8 years old
  • Less than 75,000 miles
  • Cannot be a salvaged title

How much funding can I receive?

Up to $20,000 in low-interest Auto loans from (Travis Credit Union or Beneficial State Bank) and up to $5,000 in grant funds from the State of California Air Resources Board.

Do I need to repay the grant?

Grants received do not have to be repaid however, there are conditions. Low interest loans will require repayment. Call the Driving Clean team for more information.

Which dealerships can I work with?

If you are applying for a loan through our organization, you are required to work with one of our partnered dealerships (click here for the list of partnered dealerships). However, if you are self-financing, you are not restricted to our partnered dealerships. The dealership must be in California and must provide the necessary vehicle documentation. Exercise caution when selecting a dealership. Communicate with the dealership of choice to ascertain if they will accept our grant before you begin the vehicle purchase process.

*Private sellers are not permitted*

Am I eligible if I already purchased/leased my vehicle?

Unfortunately, no. We are a point of sale program, which means you would have needed to apply before the purchase of the vehicle. Since we are a pre-purchase program, we are unable to provide grant funds retroactively. To be eligible, you would have needed to apply to the program and receive approval beforehand.

What program(s) can I stack with?

We are NOT able to be stacked with CVAP or Clean Cars 4 All. We do NOT stack with most grants.

However, we DO stack with several rebates, such as: CVRP (California Vehicle Rebate Project), PCE (Peninsula Clean Energy aka Driving Forward), MCEv (Marin Clean Energy Electric Vehicle Rebate), PG&E, CFL (Clean Fuel Reward), Federal Tax Credit, etc. Each one of these programs/rebates have their own unique eligibility requirements and application process, which differs from our organization.  Please check each program’s website for eligibility, requirements, and how to apply

If you are interested in learning more about the aforementioned programs, here are two comprehensive lists of incentives and programs offered federally and by the state of California.

References – List of Incentives/Programs:

  1. California – https://driveclean.ca.gov/
  2. Federal – https://afdc.energy.gov/laws

If I purchase an electric vehicle, can I get funding for a home charger?

If you purchase a Battery Electric Vehicle or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, up to $2,000 in additional grant funds are available for an at-home or portable level 2 charger. The eligible applicant must own the property where the charger will be installed or provide evidence from the property owner allowing the applicant to install and operate the charger.   We have partnered with GRID Alternatives to provide installation services for clients. (GRID Alternative’s website)

Can I submit more than one application?

No. Applicants can only submit one application per lifetime for the Driving Clean Assistance Program.

How do I get approved?

First, you must complete an application packet and submit all of the required documentation listed in the application. Once complete, your file will be assigned to a coordinator for further review and financial education. The coordinator will be working with you directly towards grant approval and the vehicle purchase/lease. After you receive a conditional grant approval letter, you will be permitted to go car shopping.

How can I check the status of my application?

Applicants can check the status of their application by emailing us at DriveEVgrants@communityHDC.org or call us at 510-685-4303.

How do I receive my grant award?

Grant funds are paid directly to the dealership, on behalf of the grantee.