Cooper Bill to Expand Clean Vehicle Rebate Program Advances to Gov. Brown

September 14, 2017 |  

A bill that would expand access to clean vehicle rebates passed in the California State Assembly yesterday and has been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

That legislation, Assembly Bill 615, sponsored by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) seeks to address poor air quality in disadvantaged communities by providing financial incentives and access to electric and clean-air vehicle through California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). While program has enjoyed success since its introduction, participation has been primarily in higher income coastal area of the state.

According to the Center for Sustainable Energy, since its introduction in 2010, the CVRP has distributed more than $377 million in rebates have been issued for the purchase of 175,000 vehicles. However, the majority of those rebates have gone to individuals with annual incomes greater than $150,000. Additionally, statistics found that 88-percent of recipients are Caucasian, 75-percent are male, and 83-percent are college graduates. 

“Studies overwhelmingly show that rebates are going to California’s most affluent communities and not to the communities with poor air quality who truly need them,” Cooper said. “AB 615 will help level the playing field and provide an improved opportunity for low-income individuals to take advantage of the program.”

If signed into law, rebates to low-income individuals would increase by $500. Additionally, it would require outreach to disadvantaged communities, prioritize rebates payments for low-income consumers, and will limit eligibility for high-income individuals. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Cooper's bill doesn't go far enough. California gives low income people free medical, free dental, free Section 8 rent, free phones, free internet, and free college. I think Cooper's bill should give free cars for low income people too, not just a $500 higher rebate.

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Notwithstanding Ms./Mr. Blutarsky's comments above, while Mr. Cooper's effort is a nice symbol, the effectiveness of the program, if it is signed by Gov. Brown, is dubious.

Will an additional $500 off a new $30,000 Toyota Prius for a Central Valley family of four with a household income of $40,000 help? Undoubtedly car salesmen will ask "what do I need to do to put you in this car". The $500 price break will barely pay for the registration, especially after January 1 when the effects of SB 1 take hold of your wallet and will not put that family in that or any other low emission vehicle.

Close, but no cigar Mr. Cooper.

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