‘Transportation justice’ in CA helps the poor buy electric cars

‘Transportation justice’ in CA helps the poor buy electric cars

The year 2014 sees California helping poor people buy electric cars, what’s called “transportation justice.”


SB 359 is by state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro. It approved a loan for $30 million to help finance low-income residents to transition away from older, higher-polluting vehicles. The bill also supports two state incentive programs for electric-drive cars, trucks and buses.

SB 459 is by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Aguora Hills. It requires the state to provide a voucher for a new alternative-fuel vehicle. The voucher would be given to low-income car owners who could not pass a smog test on their existing vehicle.

According to the bill analysis, the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program established by AB 118 in 2007 has not “attracted substantial consumer participation.” Rebates have been issued to promote the very cleanest new vehicles paid for through smog abatement fees. In response, Pavley’s bill will hand out subsidies to remove “high polluting vehicles” from the road.

AB 8 is by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno. It extended AB 118 until 2024. AB 118. For the current fiscal year, the program is expected to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels, to help the state meet its climate change goals. It is funded through vehicle and boat registration fees, as well as smog check and license plate fees.

While this is not the first voucher program CARB has created, it is the first that specifically targets low-income families who cannot afford an electric car.

As of early March 2013, the CARB has issued about 18,000 rebates totaling $41 million.

Also in March, the California Energy Commission voted to expand the state’s clean-vehicle rebate program with an award of $4.5 million to the California Air Resources Board through an interagency agreement to provide funding for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

The latest fund award was made through the energy commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by

Transportation justice

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Transportation Justice Working Group is part of the Social Equity Caucus, and is facilitated by Urban Habitat. They are fighting against “entrenched interests in transportation decision-making that have yielded socially and racially unjust outcomes for the past century in the Bay Area.”

To this group, transportation justice is about the highway system which has “displaced and cut up low-income communities of color and continues to burden them with toxic air pollution, traffic hazards and other disproportionate threats to their safety and health.”

These decisions have prioritized the construction and expansion of commuter rail systems, like BART and Caltrain, that are designed to serve affluent suburban riders, at the expense of urban bus systems,” the group said.

While the Transportation Justice Working Group is largely talking about restoring a once-effective bus system, the California Air Resources Board continues to push instead for new electric cars for the low income.

“Most plug-in electric cars cost more than the used cars that lower-income families and communities — the people who could most benefit from EV fuel savings, in other words — can typically afford. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, and California’s Air Resource Board is working to help low-income families get access to EVs by issuing vouchers starting at $2500.”

“With net operating costs approaching zero for cars like Nissan’s Leaf in some cases, electric car ownership could go a long way towards enabling low-income wage earners to get better education, as well as better access to healthy food and healthcare,” said Gas2, a car blog. “These low-income families would also be able to get to a number of private-sector jobs that, without an EV, would be off-limits to them. That means they’d quickly pay back CARB’s $2500 voucher through increased income, payroll, and sales taxes.”

The numbers

According to the governor’s working group on zero-emission vehicles, the roadmap toward 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025, current spending will include:

* $44.5 million to help Californian buy low emissions vehicles such as plug-in hybrids and zero-emission cars and light trucks, with rebates of up to $2,500 as long as the funds last.

* The state’s hybrid and zero-emission truck and bus voucher incentive was increased from $5 million to $15 million. The vouchers of up to $55,000 are for fleet purchases of cleaner trucks and buses.

* The Truck Loan Assistance Program received an additional $18 million to help small-business fleet owners finance truck upgrades required by law.


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  1. billyBS
    billyBS 5 February, 2014, 14:19

    Got to go with the flow. The klunkers the so called poor don t have to buy are available to me. Cheap, put a little money in them, low registation fees(to those who actually pay like me), less insurance(again to those who purchase insurance like me). Great cars….put a yellow smile face decal on them. A great car to take to Harbor Freight in the bad areas of town or to any Wal Mart.

    Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 5 February, 2014, 14:58

    Californians are being incentivized to be poor and stupid. Free healthcare, free food, housing subsidises, utility discounts, favortism in the UC selection process w/government paid tuition and room & board, ObamaPhones, and now rebates for new cars. lol. No wonder we have the highest poverty rate in the nation. Don’t these idiots understand that when you incentivize something you get more of it? lol. If you make < than a $40,000 gross income it might be worthwhile to consult with a CPA to determine if it would be in your self-interest to reduce your income so you too could go on the dole. Why work hard for < $40,000 when you could maintain your current lifestyle on the dole and spend your time doing fun things that you enjoy? Plan for your future. Chances are you only live once unless the Hindu's got it right.

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 5 February, 2014, 20:55

    I drive a beater1995 C220 with 201k enjoyed miles here at the beach. This old friend doesn’t turn heads…..no real man drives pansy cars and gets Saturday morning car washes and drinks lattes out of car wash vending machines…….Ulysses is always on my case to park it way in the back of his trailer rental yard….you don’t treat any of your old chums like that…..it’s parked up front!

    Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 5 February, 2014, 21:04

    The Three Faces of Eve.

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 6 February, 2014, 09:23

    Teddy…..humbly have learned from the sage at CWD. Thank You.

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 6 February, 2014, 16:05

    LIC, I think Teddy Steals likes your comment 😉

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 6 February, 2014, 17:25

    Poodle get back to your Slurpee work station…….

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 6 February, 2014, 21:45

    He is filling in tonight for Big Nose Al shucking peas for the weekend four course barbie at Randsburg Days!

    Reply this comment
  9. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 8 February, 2014, 09:54

    LOL Big Nose Al!!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  10. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 8 February, 2014, 09:56

    Hey– Doomers! The stupid poor should NOT be allowed to have electric cars! Should they?

    Won’t their Wall Street Masters ™ become upset and give them more “Trickle Down” ™ ?

    Reply this comment
  11. Donkey
    Donkey 9 February, 2014, 18:34

    TCS is the master dancer of the RAGWUS. Put on your tutu little sidekick, and dance!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 17:49

    Hey– Doomers! The stupid poor should NOT be allowed to have electric cars! Should they?
    Won’t their Wall Street Masters ™ become upset and give them more “Trickle Down” ™ ?
    – See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/02/05/transportation-justice-in-ca-helps-the-poor-buy-electric-cars/#sthash.IhgyjKpq.dpuf

    Reply this comment
  13. Teri Corry
    Teri Corry 9 March, 2014, 12:29

    There is something inherently wrong with our California Senators spending the taxpayers hard earned money on this proposal. What they propose could be used to purchase cars for high school kids and college kids as they have no income. Another way for the parents not to be responsible for their kids. Then the leftist politicians will pass more legislation that the State of California will have to buy them insurance, car washes, tune-ups and have to buy them new batteries or California (taxpayers) can be sued because they gave them the cars in the first place. This proposal gives new meaning to a Chicken in Every Pot.

    Reply this comment

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