SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed a measure to extend California’s Clean Vehicle Decal program. AB 544, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), extends the program through 2025, with several modifications to sustainably accommodate a substantial increase in clean vehicle sales.
“AB 544 will bring long-term certainty to the decal program and help California meet its ambitious climate change goals,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Reaching those goals depends on our ability to encourage consumers to make sustainable purchasing decisions. AB 544 makes it easier for Californians to make such decisions about one of the largest and most environmentally-impactful purchases they can make: their vehicles.”
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.
“In order to continue striving toward California’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) goals and create further consumer demand of electric vehicles, it’s critical that the state continue to provide incentives for California drivers,” stated California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Cheryl Bedford of Sunset Auto Center in Lompoc. “We have a long way to go but providing these incentives to consumers to purchase electric vehicles, including access to HOV lanes, is a good step in the right direction and will be an encouraging factor in the sales of electric vehicles.”
“The transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “We cannot reach our environmental goals without reducing transportation-related emissions and AB 544 is a critical part of helping us do so.”
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.