Can We Save the California EV Rebate Program?

On a recent trip to Sacramento with a group of business entrepreneurs, we met with many members of the state assembly to discuss California’s climate policies and the economic benefits of cap and trade funds to their districts. We showed how many jobs have been created in clean energy in their communities, and the amount of emissions that have been reduced. One of the categories we highlighted was transportation and the total dollars that went into electric vehicle rebate programs. By pointing out how cap and trade funds were distributed in-district – the number of fossil fuel vehicles taken off the road, EV rebates to constituents, and EV charging stations installed – many assembly members were pleasantly surprised at the funding to EV projects.

As legislators get ready to vote on SB 32 “State Targets for Climate Pollution”, a bill that extends the California Global Warming Law (AB 32) – which has made California the global leader of the clean energy economy – funding for the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) is at risk. Administered by the Center for Renewable Energy (CSE), for the California Air Resources Board, the CVRP program has put more than 100,000 clean vehicles on California roads. With a goal of 1.5 million ZEVs by 2025, we have a long way to go, and killing the CVRP program is the wrong way to go. As legislators grapple with CARB’s authority to extend programs to meet our climate goals, we hope that CVRP funding gets extended to 2030.

It is also crucial to support the state’s low carbon fuel standard as a critical means to meet our future climate targets and reduce the emissions of the transportation sector, which is the largest source of our emissions (37%). Meeting our overall climate targets will require continued innovation and investment in our state’s mobility. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard remains an effective, technology-neutral program that will spur innovation, provide cost-effective carbon reductions, and will save consumers money by exerting downward pressure on transportation fuel/energy costs by diversifying supply.

Let’s keep California driving down the clean vehicle, clean energy road – because we know that what is good for the environment is also good for the economy!