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California is Charging Ahead with Electric Vehicles

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PHOTO: The State Senate has passed a bill to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in every community, especially for disadvantaged residents who often live in communities with the poorest air quality. The Charge Ahead California Initiative now goes to the Assembly for consideration. Photo credit: University of Southern California.
PHOTO: The State Senate has passed a bill to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in every community, especially for disadvantaged residents who often live in communities with the poorest air quality. The Charge Ahead California Initiative now goes to the Assembly for consideration. Photo credit: University of Southern California.
 By Lori AbbottContact
May 29, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A bill charging ahead in the State Legislature aims to put 1 million electric vehicles on the roadways over the next decade by improving consumer incentives and rebates.

The Charge Ahead California Initiative also aims to improve air quality and ensure electric vehicles aren't just toys for the rich.

Max Baumhefner, a clean vehicles and fuels expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the bill's sponsors, says this will electrify the state's cars, trucks and buses by improving access to a cleaner fuel that's the cost equivalent of dollar-a-gallon gasoline, which is especially important for low and moderate income motorists.

"The reality is with the rebates our campaign will make possible, you can purchase an electric car for well under $20,000 and enjoy savings on gasoline if you finance that vehicle from day one," he points out.

If the legislation is passed, consumers will be able to receive rebates of $2,500 or more.

The State Senate approved the bill by a 27-9 vote on Tuesday, and it now moves on to the Assembly for debate.

Bahram Fazeli, policy director at the Communities for a Better Environment, praises the bill's focus on strengthening current programs to be more inclusive of disadvantaged residents, who often live in communities with the poorest air quality.

"This is really something that benefits everybody and especially those who are disproportionately impacted in environmental justice communities," he says.

Fazeli adds the initiative will also create jobs and reduce dependency on fossil fuel. He calls it a win-win situation.

"I think it's very important for people to realize we spend $70 billion in California on gasoline and diesel, and 40 billion of that leaves the state of California to oil companies and foreign oil-production countries."



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