Being home to Tesla’s corporate office and the Tesla Factory, the company’s major production facility, the state of California is the epicenter of electric vehicle development and adoption. Governor Jerry Brown’s goal is to bring the number of electric vehicles on California roads from 300,000 to 1.5 million by 2025, and, ideally, to 5 million by 2030.
A recently unveiled bill, AB1184, introduced by Assembly member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, could help meet California’s lofty goal by unlocking $3 billion in incentives to support electric vehicle adoption.
“Electric cars are the future. We have reached a tipping point and it’s time to give the electric car revolution an aggressive boost. California’s ambitious goals to reduce climate-altering emissions require transportation electrification. We need an incentive program to get everyone behind the wheel of an electric vehicle,” commented Phil Ting.
Currently, buyers of electric vehicles in California are eligible for a rebate ranging between $1,500 and $5,000 after the purchase of a plug-in electric or fuel cell vehicle. If the bill passes, the California Electric Vehicle Initiative (CEVI) would be created, and rebates would be offered directly at the purchase of the vehicle.
“[Incentives] would be valued initially to make the cost of battery-powered vehicles comparable to similar models of gasoline-powered vehicles, after federal and other credits,” said Phil Ting. In practice, if a $40,000 electric vehicle has the same features as a gasoline-powered car that costs just $25,000, the buyer would receive a $7,500 state rebate to even out the bottom line when applied on top of the still applicable $7,500 federal tax credit.
If approved, the new rebate program is expected to roll out late next year. It would continue an existing $500 million program that promotes low- or zero-emission vehicles in poor communities by switching transit vehicles from diesel to electric or hybrid, and helping low- and moderate-income Californians purchase used low emission cars.