Air Resources Board plots new zero-emission vehicle plan


zero-emmissions-vehicleCalifornia’s environmental regulators have revisited their credit program for zero emissions vehicles, which hasn’t done enough to position the state for the kind of carbon savings needed to meet future targets. 

The zero-emissions subsidy hasn’t suffered from a lack of funding in the recent past. “Earlier this year, not long after declaring victory on a hard-fought measure expanding the state’s emission reduction mandate, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced a late-session deal on where to send some of the revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program,” the Fresno Bee recalled. “A big chunk of money in the compromise went to the Air Resource Board’s Low-Carbon Transportation initiative, including over $200 million to bolster programs offering financial incentives for purchasing cleaner vehicles.”

But Brown and the board have struggled to figure out just how to pump zero-emission vehicle acquisitions up to where they must be for California to hit its ambitious emissions targets in coming years. “Brown has argued business interests and resistant legislators will prefer the reliability of cap-and-trade to more stringent dictates,” the paper added earlier this month. “Whether or not the Legislature musters a vote to extend the program beyond a 2020 limit set in statute, the ARB has already begun sculpting regulations that could sustain the system without a vote.”

Now, regulators have unveiled new rule tweaks designed to accomplish those goals. From hereon out, “high-income earners are excluded from getting the rebates and prospective buyers from lower-income households will get more money under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “California’s focus on income will not affect the substantial tax credits the federal government offers clean-car buyers. The changes are designed to help reach aggressive goals set by Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Air Resources Board to vastly increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on the state’s highways. But it’s unclear whether the changes will get the desired results.”

A demographic hunt

Regulators have not ignored the figures on economic class, ethnicity and automotive habits. “Over 75 percent of new electric car buyers make more than $100,000 a year, according to a survey of rebate recipients by the Air Resources Board,” Southern California Public Radio reported. “Race is a factor, too. A recent UC Berkeley study examined the number of rebates per census tract, and found that black and Latino areas have fewer new electric cars.” 

CARB’s shifting agenda has been crafted to help blunt criticism from the Left that cap-and-trade has shifted an unfair burden onto what advocates say area already disadvantaged neighborhoods. “The environmental justice lobby’s concerns about local air pollution are justified: A new report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights acknowledges that low-income and minority communities face disproportionately high air pollution,” a pair of climate professors broadly aligned with CARB’s approach recently conceded in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee pushing for cap-and-trade’s continued use. 

In absolute numbers, current totals of credited cars have climbed, but relative to targets, the state’s plan to push them into popularity has failed. “The Golden State has about 240,000 zero-emission vehicles on its roads,” noted SCPR, citing CARB figures. “It’s taken six years to reach that number, and at that rate, the state will not meet the 2025 goal.”

Alternative energy frustrations

Part of the problem arose recently around an apparent mismatch between credits and caps, which caused Elon Musk to warn that regulators needed to toughen up in order for the credit market to flourish. CARB has set a meeting in early December to plot its next move, according to Bloomberg. “The board is reassessing its targets as part of the so-called mid-term review of President Barack Obama’s fuel-economy and emissions goals for 2025. California is the biggest auto market among U.S. states and has the authority to set pollution rules that are more stringent than national standards. It currently requires that a portion of each company’s sales come from electric or other nonpolluting vehicles and allows manufacturers to buy credits from a competitor if they fall behind.”


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  1. Dork
    Dork 2 November, 2016, 06:01

    If Moonbeam was serious he would immediately issue an Executive Order mandating that ALL PERSONS that can be classified as a “Public Employee” be FORBIDDEN from using any Personal Conveyance that uses a Carbon Based fuel for Personal Transportation to and from their respective workplaces.


    Reply this comment
  2. Ron
    Ron 2 November, 2016, 06:02

    As the USA recovered from the long recession, electric vehicle ZEV’s sales were less in 2015 than sales in 2014. Electric car sales actually fell from 3.5% of total US cars sales in 2014 to only 2.9% of total car sales in 2015. For the1% that pay 50% of all California state income taxes, they may be the ones that have registered 3% of the 32 million registered vehicles that are alternative energy driven. Possible reasons for declining sales may have been “daily charging anxieties” and/or “range anxieties” for those ZEV’s. Most electric cars, except for the ultra-expensive Tesla’s, have a range of less than 100 miles and take in excess of 20 hours to charge at households’ 120 volt power.

    38 million California citizens have registered the 97% of the 32 million registered vehicles that are fossil fuel driven and generally more affordable than the alternative energy driven vehicles: a)Nearly 25% of Californians 38 million live below the poverty line, b)California has more than 33% of the nation’s welfare recipients, c)California is home to 12% of the nation’s population, but startlingly 21% of the nation’s homeless population, d)The majority of California renters: Nearly 3 million households – pay more than 30% of their income toward rent, and roughly – 1.5 million households pay more than 50% of their income toward rent.

    We wish Musk and other ZEV manufacturers continued success with the fuzzy math: ZEV’s are manufactured 100% from fossil fuels. They get there electrical recharging energy from fossil fuels, and sometimes from subsidized (public monies) solar or wind energy. In addition, Tesla’s are heavily subsidized Federal and State (public monies). They pay no taxes for the roads they are using, but that may change as legislators have plans in progress to implement higher registration fees and vehicle mileage taxes to help generate monies into the depleted Highway Trust Fund. They incur a huge inconvenience of the 10 to 40 HOURS PER WEEK for recharging vs. the 5 MINUTES A WEEK to fuel a non-electric vehicle.

    Reply this comment
  3. Bruce
    Bruce 2 November, 2016, 06:36

    Legal plunder, (the force of government), the theft by law of taking from one and giving to another. Government may think they are smarter than me and need to hold my hand, but they are severely confused and wrong. I will get the last say in all matters…with my feet.

    Reply this comment
  4. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 2 November, 2016, 10:43

    Uh-huh. Tell me again why our fearless leaders keep pushing for more housing and economic development–both of which bring MORE vehicle traffic, congestion, crime and demands on resources. A shift from fossil fuels to “clean” energy is not going to happen overnight, and forcing the shift is not going to be without undesirable consequences. I think Sacramento is a menace to the people of California.

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 2 November, 2016, 12:44



    Plutocrats know you peasants love your dangerous guns, your polluting wasteful autos.

    Sacrifice for the common good is the best way……….resistance useless.

    The State…… knows best…..always….

    Reply this comment
  6. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 2 November, 2016, 13:48

    You all are cheering me up considerably.

    Reply this comment
  7. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 2 November, 2016, 15:26

    How about if Moonbeam,Newsom all the eco-freaks and their hollywood supporters all ductaped their pieholes closed it would go a long way to cut back on the Hot Air they produce

    Reply this comment
  8. Mike
    Mike 3 November, 2016, 04:37

    Been looking at New cars. Dealers say electrics are not selling.I suspect there have bee incentives for dealers to order. 20 to one the state of Cal buys them and gives them to the typical jerk off employee. Tessa is super late with their $35000 piece of crap. Bet it is $45000 when salami sucker Musk finally sells it. It will be like Edsel. A driverless Tesla will ram a Mosque and the Muslims will behead owners of such, definitely a Marketing challenge. Who wants 3 toothed fanatics with Porta potty breath chasing your poorly charged car with a sword?

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 7 November, 2016, 08:05

      Mike- You are rude,crude, and definitely not PC.
      My kind of CWD poster!

      Reply this comment

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