For Immediate Release: October 11, 2017

On Tuesday, Governor Brown signed a series of bills that promote zero emission transportation.  These bills improve our access to Electric Vehicles (EVs) by placing charging stations in schools (AB 1082), parks and beaches (AB 1083) while prioritizing programs in disadvantaged communities.  This EV bill package also extends and increases rebates for low-moderate income households when purchasing EVs (AB 615) while expanding incentive programs that encourage residents to retire their older cars and replace them with cleaner ones (AB 630).  Others bills create aggressive targets for state fleet of zero emission vehicles and offer additional incentives for purchasing clean vehicles.  In response, organization members of the Charge Ahead California Campaign issued the following statements:

“As we near the end of another unhealthy smog season, Californians are searching for solutions to air pollution,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director with Coalition for Clean Air.  A rapid shift to zero-emission vehicles is essential to delivering clean air, and the package of legislation signed by Governor Brown will help speed that transition by making both electric vehicles and charging stations more accessible.”

“Electrification of transportation, providing affordable access to clean mobility options for low-income communities of color, and creating effective just transition programs in EJ communities are central strategies for ending our dependence on fossil fuels in California while lifting up communities most in need,” said Bahram Fazeli, Director of Research & Policy with Communities for a Better Environment.  “We applaud our legislators and Governor Brown for taking steps in this direction, and urge them to continue to push for clean transportation options in disadvantaged communities who need relief the most from air pollution and are on the frontlines of climate change impacts.”

“As wildfires ravage multiple California counties, it is clear that we must act now to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. Thank you to Governor Brown and all the California legislators who championed these new policies to accelerate the transition to a clean electric vehicle future,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California.  “Expanding electric vehicle access for low-income Californians, installing charging infrastructure at schools and state parks, and increasing light- and heavy-duty electric vehicles in our public fleets – these are among the innovative solutions California needs to fully electrify our transportation sector by mid-century and set a strong example for other states to follow.”

“Discriminatory land use and transportation policy has devastated low-income communities of color with poor transit service and clogged freeways jammed with dirty cars and diesel trucks,” said Joel Espino, Environmental Equity Legal Counsel with The Greenlining Institute. “With this package of bills, California policymakers are disrupting that old way of thinking to make sure our neediest, most impacted communities benefit most from the EV revolution.”

“Schools, and state parks and beaches are long-dwell time locations well-suited to charging electric vehicles that, because they are also highly visible, could play an important role in overcoming a lack-of-awareness that is holding back the EV market,” said Max Baumhefner, Clean Vehicles & Fuels Attorney with Natural Resources Defense Council.

About the Charge Ahead California Campaign:

The Charge Ahead California Campaign, which launched its project in 2013, has played an instrumental role in raising awareness among decision-makers and the public about the benefits and opportunities in moving us closer towards our EV targets while identifying programs and policies that enhance access for disadvantaged communities. The Charge Ahead coalition has been working to place one million light, medium, and heavy-duty electric vehicles on California’s roads by 2023 and ensure that all Californians, especially lower-income households most impacted by air pollution, benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.

Exhaust from cars and trucks creates nearly 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and hits low-income neighborhoods and communities of color hardest. Dirty air makes tens of thousands of Californians sick, costs us billions in avoidable health costs, and causes twice as many deaths as traffic-related accidents. The impacts of this pollution are far worse for lower-income families and people of color because they are more likely to live near busy roads and freeways and be exposed to dangerous levels of emissions.

 

###