Charge Ahead California
SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Appropriations Committee weighed in with support for the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275 – De León) on Thursday, bringing the state one step closer to adopting a goal of putting one million electric vehicles on California roads in ten years, and reinforcing provisions that guarantee that low- and middle-income Californians are full participants in the Golden State’s clean vehicle future.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee is the third Assembly panel to vote in favor of the bill, which is authored by Senate President pro Tempore-elect Kevin de León with support from co-authors Senator Fran Pavley, and Assemblymembers Raul Bocanegra, Rob Bonta, Cristina Garcia, Chris Holden, and Phil Ting. The bill was approved by both the Assembly Transportation Committee and Assembly Natural Resources Committee in June. SB 1275 passed the full Senate in May with strong bipartisan support.
“We need many more electric vehicles on the road, and we also need to ensure that every Californian gets a fair chance to enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles,” said Vien Truong, Environmental Equity Director of The Greenlining Institute. “That’s what Charge Ahead California is all about,” Truong said.
“Four in ten Californians live near a highway or other busy road, more than any other state,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California. “If our roads were instead filled with zero-emission vehicles, it would dramatically improve the lives of millions of Californians who are already suffering from asthma and other pollution impacts,” Kinman said.
De León developed the legislation with Charge Ahead California, a coalition of community-based organizations and conservation groups working together to expand clean transportation, improve local economies, and achieve air quality and climate goals.
“To clean up our dirty air, we need to make electric cars more accessible for our middle- and low-income families, not just the wealthy,” De León said.
Key provisions of the legislation include:
- An extended and improved Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). The CVRP has been instrumental in bringing one-third of the nation’s plug-in cars to California. The CVRP currently provides buyers with a $2,500 rebate for zero-emission purchases, but the program has been historically plagued by insufficient funding. SB 1275 would help secure needed funding for the program and direct officials to set income caps at levels that both ensure the program achieves the one million electric vehicle goal, and target rebates to people for whom they have the greatest impact.
- Increases access to clean transportation in disadvantaged communities. SB 1275 would direct the Air Resources Board to establish car-sharing programs targeted to low-income communities, provide access to financing options that would mean lower combined monthly car payments and fuel costs, and offer incentives for the replacement of gas-guzzling “clunkers” with new or used electric cars or vouchers for transit and car-sharing.
SB 1275, the Charge Ahead California Initiative, is sponsored by the Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, The Greenlining Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The campaign is also endorsed by many others, including: American Lung Association in California, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Business Association, Breathe CA, California League of Conservation Voters, CALPIRG, CALSTART, Catholic Charities – Stockton Diocese, ChargePoint, City of Baldwin Park, City of Los Angeles, Environmental Defense Fund, FAME Corporations, Global Green USA, Interfaith Power & Light, Los Angeles Business Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Sierra Club California, TransForm, Union of Concerned Scientists, Valley LEAP and West Angeles Community Development Corporation [partial list].
Claire Conlon, Office of Senator Kevin de León, (916) 651-4022, claire.conlon@sen.
Max Baumhefner, Natural Resources Defense Council, (415) 875-8204, email@example.com
Bahram Fazeli, Communities for a Better Environment, (323) 826-9771, ext. 100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patty Ochoa, Coalition for Clean Air (213-223-6868), patricia@
Michelle Kinman, Environment California (310) 621-8935, michelle@
Bruce Mirken, The Greenlining Institute (510) 926-4022, brucem@greenlining.
Eric Jaffe, Resource Media (415) 397-5000 x311, ejaffe@resource-media.