Affordable Used Electric Cars

The Peninsula Clean Energy DriveForward Electric Program is making it more affordable for income-qualifying San Mateo County residents to purchase a used electric vehicle (EV) by providing a vehicle incentive up to $4,000.

The DriveForward Electric program is in partnership with Peninsula Family Service, which offers vehicle loans and financial education to help participants purchase reliable used vehicles and strengthen their financial stability.

The program also helps connect participants to other EV incentive programs that PCE’s incentive may be combined with.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles save owners money on fueling and maintenance costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win!

Hear from one of our program participants, Ana, who is now a proud new owner of a 2016 Chevy Volt!

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for PCE’s incentive of up to $4,000, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Live in San Mateo County
  2. Meet qualifying income shown in the table
  3. Have the ability to plug in and charge the vehicle at home or at work

If you don’t qualify, check out incentives for new EVs instead.

Number of People*
Maximum Annual Income**
*Count only yourself plus any spouse and/or dependents you have.
**Adjusted gross income. Calculation based on 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (2019). 

Steps to Qualify

1. Fill out the interest form below

2. Speak to a Peninsula Family Service coordinator and schedule an in-person one-on-one meeting if needed

3. If approved, find a reliable electric vehicle and get it inspected

4. Purchase a vehicle and drive forward into a brighter, cleaner future! PCE’s incentive will either be given pre-purchase or post-purchase depending on your situation.

Other EV Incentive Programs 

Income-qualifying San Mateo County residents are also eligible to receive the following incentives from other regional and state programs:

ProgramEVs Incentive AmountAdditional Info
Clean Cars for All $5,500 - $9,500
depending on income
Must retire a vehicle 15 years old or older to qualify. Bay Area only.
Driving Clean Assistance Program $5,000Grant & (optional) financing assistance program. Bay Area only.
CA Clean Vehicle Assistance Program$4, 500 - $5,000
depending on income & vehicle type
Statewide grant & (optional) financing assistance program.


  • These three programs cannot be stacked with one another.
  • PCE incentive is $2,000 if stacking with funds of any of these programs, or $4,000 if not stacking. Savings are always greater by stacking funds.
  • Combined incentives may not exceed the cost of the vehicle. For example, if you receive $9,500 from the Clean Cars for All Program and purchase a $10,000 vehicle, PCE’s incentive would only be for $500.
  • To receive PCE’s incentive, you may choose to apply directly with the other program first.
Am I eligible?

To be eligible for PCE’s incentive you must be a San Mateo County resident, have access to a plug at home or at work where you can charge you vehicle, and have a qualifying household income which is calculated based on 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (see income chart above).

What vehicles are eligible for PCE's incentive?

Used plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or full-battery electric vehicles. Conventional hybrids are not eligible and new vehicles are not eligible.

How much is PCE incentive?

PCE’s incentive is $4,000 if you are not stacking funds with other EV incentive programs OR $2,000 if you are stacking funds with other EV incentive programs.

How long will PCE’s incentive be available for?

PCE’s DriveForward Electric program is in its pilot phase. Incentives are available until funding runs out. Funding is expected to be available through at least Q1 2019 and is likely to be renewed.

Can I stack PCE’s incentive with other EV incentive programs?

Yes, PCE’s incentive is stackable with other income-qualifying EV incentive programs such as the Clean Cars for All Program, the Driving Clean Assistance Program, and the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program. If you stack with other programs PCE’s incentive is $2,000 instead of $4,000.

How much in incentives can I receive?

It depends on what programs you participate in. The following table summarizes the potential saving amounts with PCE’s and other programs:

PCE only$4,000
PCE + Driving Clean Assistance Program$7,000
PCE + Clean Vehicle Assistance Program$7,000
PCE + Clean Vehicle Assistance Program$7,500 - $11,500

Please note that combined incentives cannot exceed the total cost of the vehicle. For example, if you purchase a $10,000 vehicle and receive a $9,500 incentive from the Clean Cars for All Program, you will only receive a $500 incentive from PCE.

How will I receive PCE’s incentive?

It depends on what programs you participate in and if you plan on financing a vehicle loan through our program partner, Peninsula Family Service. In general, we will follow the following protocol. Also note that all the other EV incentive programs are up-front grants.

PCE only + Peninsula Family Service loanUp-front grant directly to the dealership
PCE only + loan through your own bankPost-purchase rebate
PCE + some other EV incentive programOther EV incentive program = up-front grant directly to the dealership

PCE incentive = post-purchase rebate
What is the process to apply for PCE's incentive?

First, please fill out our interest form below. A representative from Peninsula Family Service will call you and let you know what next steps are. In most cases, this might include an in-person one-on-meeting with PFS. The process may depend on whether or not you apply for another EV incentive program. 

Can I purchase my vehicle at any dealership?

You can purchase your vehicle at any dealership in the Bay Area for PCE’s incentive. However, please note that the other EV incentive programs have lists of approved dealers where the vehicle must be purchased.

How do you verify if I plug in my vehicle at home or at work?

We require photos of where you plan to plug in your vehicle at home or at work.

I can’t plug in at home or work but want to charge at public charging stations, am I eligible?

No, you must have a place to charge at home or at work. 

How I can get a vehicle loan with Peninsula Family Service?

To apply for a loan with Peninsula Family Service, you must first attend a PFS financial empowerment workshop. You would then submit your application for a loan and meet with a PFS coordinator for a one-on-one meeting.

Can I get a vehicle loan at my bank of choosing?

Yes, you may get a loan at your bank of choosing. If you do so, your PCE incentive would be provided as an post-purchase rebate instead of as an up-front check to the dealership.

Do I have to get a vehicle loan to receive PCE’s incentive?

No, it is a not a requirement that you get a loan to receive PCE’s incentive. If you do not get a loan, your PCE incentive would be provided as an post-purchase rebate instead of as an up-front check to the dealership.

DriveForward Electric Interest Form

If you think you qualify for PCE’s used EV incentive (after reviewing the program qualifications above), please complete our interest form by clicking here. A Peninsula Clean Energy or Peninsula Family Service coordinator will contact you with more information and next steps.

In partnership with