EV Update: PG&E to Deploy EV Charging Stations in Low-Income Communities

EV Update: PG&E to Deploy EV Charging Stations in Low-Income Communities

A BIG YEAR FOR EV EQUITY It’s been an exciting 12 months for electric vehicle equity. Some highlights: Almost a year ago, to the day, the three biggest utilities in California submitted $1 billion in proposals aimed at electrifying cars, trucks, buses, airport equipment, and much more. Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the first set of proposals giving utilities the green light to spend $42 million on a swath of projects that will create things like charging stations for electric school buses in low-income neighborhoods and charging ports for yard tractors at the Port of Long Beach, and much more. Last January the Commission approved a $519,400…
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An Important Step to Clean Air and More Equitable Communities in Los Angeles

An Important Step to Clean Air and More Equitable Communities in Los Angeles

By Jimmy O’Dea and Joel Espino Next month, LA Metro, the second largest transit fleet in the United States, will decide what types of buses to purchase through 2030. The decision will impact Los Angeles’ efforts to have clean air, fight climate change, and expand economic opportunity. We applaud the proposal put forward by Metro staff last week to transition the entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles. LA Metro can be a leader Today, Metro’s 2,200 buses operate entirely on natural gas. While natural gas was a better option than diesel when Metro began switching fuels more than 20 years ago, it no longer deserves the “clean” branding seen on Metro’s buses.…
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Electric Buses and Trucks Can Deliver Opportunity in California by Cutting Poverty and Pollution

Electric Buses and Trucks Can Deliver Opportunity in California by Cutting Poverty and Pollution

Heavy-duty vehicles are the single largest source of smog-forming pollution in California. Transportation emissions endanger public health and hurt low-income communities and communities of color the most because these communities are more likely to be located near busy roads, highways, and ports. That’s the bad news. The good news: powering our buses, and trucks with electricity can clean our air, fight climate change, and create jobs—especially in communities hit hardest by poverty and pollution. Electric buses and trucks are here to stay in California, and we’ll soon see a lot more of them. Here are some reasons why: As I discussed earlier this month, California has decided to make a…
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L-C-T-P, Find Out What It Means to Me: California Finally Delivers Historic Clean Transportation Boost to Its Poorest and Most Polluted Communities

L-C-T-P, Find Out What It Means to Me: California Finally Delivers Historic Clean Transportation Boost to Its Poorest and Most Polluted Communities

Climate Justice, for the Win! You might have already heard about this year’s historic policy wins for environmental justice and equity. My teammate, Emi Wang, called it a “monster year” for communities most impacted by poverty and pollution. California committed to “bold policies that protect our health and climate, and directly benefit environmental justice communities” according to our partners over at the California Environmental Justice Alliance. The well-deserved acclaim continues. California’s Low Carbon Transportation Program (LCTP), Past and Present As a clean transportation advocate working to bring EV benefits to all, I can’t help but quote the great Aubrey Drake Graham. This year’s California Climate Investments is a “started from…
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5 Steps for Electric Vehicle Equity

5 Steps for Electric Vehicle Equity

ICYMI (in case you missed it), last week we launched a comprehensive online toolkit, “Electric Vehicles for All: An Equity Toolkit,” aimed at helping advocates, public officials, and corporate executives throughout the nation bring electric vehicle benefits to communities most impacted by poverty and pollution. Electric vehicles fight pollution and climate change because they produce fewer carbon emissions than gasoline powered cars, even when accounting for emissions from manufacturing and charging EVs. EVs also cost less to fuel up and maintain than conventional cars, helping EV owners save money. These benefits make it important to create policies that help underserved communities access EV technology—because they are hit hardest by transportation-related…
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Mo’ Money, Mo’ EVs: More Electric Car Rebates Available for Low-income Californians

Mo’ Money, Mo’ EVs: More Electric Car Rebates Available for Low-income Californians

California continues to be a national leader on electric vehicle (EV) equity. Yesterday (March 29, 2016), California took a critical step in getting new EVs into the hands of low-income drivers. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) changed eligibility requirements to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), spending limited dollars more equitably and working to make plug-in vehicles a real choice for working class Californians who can benefit the most from the clean air benefits and cost savings EVs provide.  The CVRP provided rebates to all Californians: $2,500 for battery electric vehicles like Nissan Leafs and Teslas and $1,500 for plug-in hybrids like Chevy Volts and Toyota Prius plug-ins. Now, low-…
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EVs Need Equity: California is Ditching Big Oil to Charge Ahead with Clean Cars for All

EVs Need Equity: California is Ditching Big Oil to Charge Ahead with Clean Cars for All

Big Oil is a big loser in California. The Golden State is trailblazing a clean transportation future by setting the ambitious goals of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025, cutting California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. This year’s landmark climate law, SB 350 (De Leόn) (Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015), further blazes a trail for clean transportation by aligning with these GHG reduction goals, directing electric utilities to displace big oil, and declaring that widespread transportation electrification requires increased access for low-income communities to clean cars like Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs. California…
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Electric Vehicle Movement: Time to Bring All Communities Along for the Ride!

Electric Vehicle Movement: Time to Bring All Communities Along for the Ride!

We are more than halfway through National Drive Electric Week (NDEW)! NDEW is a nationwide celebration of pollution-free, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The goal is to “heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid” vehicles. This year’s NDEW is the biggest ever with events in almost 200 cities across the country from September 12-20. On Sunday, September 13, I attended one of the first NDEW events in Los Angeles. The event was headlined by Senate President Kevin de Leόn on the heels of his SB 350 legislative victory that, when signed by Governor Brown, will lead California to a clean…
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Electric Cars are Coming to Stockton!

Electric Cars are Coming to Stockton!

I stood on the sun-bleached lawn of the California Capitol a few days ago. I felt my navy blue suit slowly insulating the morning Sacramento heat. Some folks took off their coats and tossed them over their shoulders as they heard Senator Kevin De León address a large group in attendance to witness the launch of a new scrap and replace program that will help California get a step closer to meeting its climate and air quality goals. I opted to keep my suit intact and stand proud on this rewarding and exciting day. Thanks to a first-of-its-kind law, The Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275), this scrap and replace…
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Cuéllar, First Mexican-born Justice on California’s Highest Court: Progress, but…

Cuéllar, First Mexican-born Justice on California’s Highest Court: Progress, but…

  Come January 2015, Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar will replace conservative veteran justice Marvin Baxter, and become California’s first Mexican-born Supreme Court justice. So what does this mean for California? It means “progress” you can believe in, barely. Cuéllar was born in the border town of Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas. He attended junior high and high school in Texas. Cuéllar eventually graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Harvard and received a J.D. and Ph.D (political science) from Yale and Stanford, respectively. Cuéllar’s journey from the Mexican gulf coast to the corridors of the Ivory League is rare but is becoming increasingly more common, especially among…
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