To increase clean car usage by mid and low-income families, Assemblymember Phil Ting proposes a visionary expansion of EV rebates for our communities: the California Electric Vehicle Initiative. In a recent KQED interview, Brightline noted limited participation within the current EV rebate program as 83% of rebate recipients earn an annual income of at least $100,000. Moreover, communities of color take advantage of rebates at significantly lower rates, even when adjusted for income.
Officially announced on June 28, 2017, the California Electric Vehicle Initiative has garnered immediate support from diverse stakeholders such as NextGen Climate, Brightline Defense, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and The Utility Reform Network (TURN). While creating targeted rebates and car sharing programs, the Initiative also requires better outreach to disadvantaged, low-income, and moderate-income communities and individuals, including partnering with community-based organizations. Not surprisingly, the Initiative is now supported by a growing movement of community service providers in California dedicated to environmental justice and workforce development, including Mission Hiring Hall, Emerald Cities, Luminalt, Asian Neighborhood Design, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center-Bayview Center, Community Youth Center, A. Philip Randolph Institute, and others.
“Demonstration deployments” can help pave the way for increased access to electric vehicles amongst all communities. When local environmental justice activist Dr. Espanola Jackson installed solar on her home in 2009, she demonstrated the environmental and economic benefits of new clean technologies to uplift emerging and disadvantaged communities. "Lack of awareness has often been a barrier to low-income households taking advantage of incentive programs," said Brightline’s Dr. Jackson Legal Fellow Ivan Jimenez. "Spurring partnerships with community-based organizations will ensure that low-income communities learn about these opportunities to access rebates and own an electric vehicle."
For more information on how to support this important rebate program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.