California SB1275 hopes to spur EV adoption, especially among low-middle-income families

A big critique of the current crop of electric vehicles is the price is out of reach for low- or middle-income people.  We have this situation where tax breaks and other perks are being given to well-off people, with the Tesla Model S and Fisker Karma both explicitly targeting the wealthy.  Tax breaks for the 1% doesn’t play well, does it?

The California Senate today passed SB 1275 (the Charge Ahead California Initiative) by a bipartisan vote of 27-9.  The bill is meant to help California’s goal of a million ZEV’s and near-ZEV’s on the road by 2023.  Along the way it hopes to incentivize a self-sustaining industry for these vehicles, and enable access among the poorer portion of society.

The bill would require ARB, in consultation with the California Energy Commission (CEC), air districts, and public stakeholders to:

Adopt a plan by 30 June 2015 that establishes an estimate of the total funding necessary for specified programs and projects to meet the Initiative’s goals. The programs funded would include the CVRP (Clean Vehicle Rebate Program), HVIP (Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project ), various components of the ARFVT (Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program), pre-commercial demonstration projects of advanced freight and transit technology for goods and passenger movement, and specified new programs.
Update the funding plan at least every three years through 1 January 2023.
Adopt revisions to CVRP criteria and guidelines by 30 June 2015 to ensure rebate levels are phased down in multiyear increments and to expand access and eligibility to low- and moderate-income persons, as specified.
Adopt revisions to HVIP by 30 June 2015 to ensure program eligibility for a truck and bus retrofitted or remanufactured to be a zero- or near-zero-emission vehicle.
Establish programs that increase access and benefits for disadvantaged and low- and moderate-income communities from electric transportation, including: loan and loss reserve financing, car sharing programs, and charging infrastructure in multi-unit dwellings in disadvantaged communities. Require these new programs to provide adequate outreach to disadvantaged and low- and moderate-income communities.

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Current status is that the bill has passed in the California Senate and it’s heading to the Assembly for further review.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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