Zero Emission Vehicle Incentive Bill Passes Senate Floor
SACRAMENTO – A measure to extend California’s Clean Vehicle Decal program passed out of the California State Senate yesterday on a bipartisan 32-5 vote. AB 544, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), extends the program through 2025 and makes several modifications to it to curtail the total length of time that decals may be used for.
“The transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California; we cannot reach our climate change goals without significantly reducing these transportation-related emissions,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “The Clean Vehicle Decal program is an invaluable tool that must be extended as we continue to undertake ambitious environmental goals.”
With approximately 300,000 zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) sold since 2008, California has the largest ZEV market in the United States. While this is an impressive feat, the state is still a considerable ways from meeting its goal of selling 1.5 million zero emission vehicle sales by 2025. A variety of programs, including clean vehicle incentives, remain critical to reaching both the ZEV goal and broader statewide greenhouse gas reductions goals.
The decal program is one such incentive that has had a demonstrated impact on consumer interest in ZEVs and near-ZEV’s, even helping hybrid cars reach near-ubiquity in California. Unfortunately, while the end date of the mandate is still years away, the decal program is set to end on January 1, 2019. AB 544 addresses this mismatch between the environmental goals and incentive programs created to reach them by extending the decal program through 2025 and modifying it to address concerns about HOV lane degradation. Additionally, as a non-monetary incentive that does not compete for coveted environmental funds, the program is one of the most cost-effective incentives the state has available.
“This year, California has demonstrated its environmental leadership on a global stage, stepping up as the federal government has stepped down. We must continue to do so by extending this effective program,” said Assemblymember Bloom.
AB 544 now heads back to the Assembly for concurrence.