Ting Proposes New Changes To California’s Clean Car Rebate Program

Monday, July 8, 2019

Ting Proposes New Changes To California’s Clean Car Rebate Program

(San Francisco) – Recognizing that the state must do more to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) unveiled AB 1046 today to drastically reform the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), California’s existing rebate program for clean cars. The proposal gears up efforts to get more zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on our roads and do so at a faster pace than ever before. Modeled after the state’s solar rebate program, the revamped CVRP would initially increase the rebate amount given to consumers. Then, as market penetration grows, the rebates would decline over time.

“There is no real incentive to buy or lease a zero-emission vehicle right now if consumers know the rebate level will be the same year after year – or even worse, run out during the year,” said Ting. “But if consumers have certainty that the rebates will diminish as time goes on, they might act sooner rather than later.”

Since transportation accounts for nearly 40% of GHG emissions in California, cleaner cars are key to reducing harmful pollutants from the air we breathe and helping slow the climate crisis. Then-Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order last year, calling for five million ZEVs to hit the road by 2030. California still has a long way to go – at the beginning of 2019, there were only 550,000 clean cars estimated on its roads. Reform of the rebate program envisioned through AB 1046 would spur greater adoption of ZEVs.   

“Gas cars are taking us on the road to climate chaos,” said Jack Lucero Fleck, Co-Coordinator, 350 Bay Area Transportation Campaign. “We need to put the brakes on this unfolding disaster by switching to electric cars, buses, and trucks, all running on 100% renewable energy. AB 1046 is an important step in putting us on the road to a clean and healthy transportation future by supporting the transition to electric vehicles in California.”

AB 1046 also requires the state to identify a steady rebate revenue stream so consumers are guaranteed their rebate, instead of being put on a waiting list when funds run out. The program is currently funded year-to-year with no guarantee lawmakers will continue the appropriation, or at what level. Too often, potential buyers have been discouraged when rebates are not immediately available and postponed their transition to clean cars.

"AB 1046 puts California on track to meeting our transportation goals by expanding access to clean vehicles to all Californians. It’s an important and necessary step to cost-effectively accelerate the transition to a zero-emission future," said Amisha Rai, Managing Director, Advanced Energy Economy.

“Unfortunately, California's overall transportation emissions are still on the rise and 80 percent of California’s transportation emissions come from passenger vehicles,” said Heidi Sickler, Director of Energy and Environment, Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “California must invest in emerging technologies that will modernize transportation systems, support local manufacturing job growth, reduce GHG emissions and improve local air quality.  Multi-year funding is essential to develop and deploy zero-emission vehicle technologies." 

AB 1046 is up for consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, July 9th.

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