Electrifying Clean Vehicle Incentives

“For almost two decades EIN has been a leading advocate for clean transportation for California and the rest of the Nation. This report provides a unique perspective on how California’s public investments and consumer incentives strengthen the clean energy economy.”
— Terry Tamminen, CEO, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
“Nearly half of California’s GHG emissions come from the transportation sector and too many of our citizens suffer from poor air quality. Governor Newsom’s administration has the opportunity to set a global example by ensuring access to clean air and affordable zero emission transportation. This report outlines concrete steps that policymakers can take to meet our state’s ambitious climate and clean air goals by accelerating the transition to ZEVs.”
— Brian Goldstein, Executive Director, EIN

Key Recommendations:

1) Create policies that promote sustained public sector, corporate and utility-scale investment in electric charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Such policies should support both light- and heavy-duty vehicles in order to leverage economies of scale and support uptake of all ZEVs while minimizing development costs.

2) Bolster alternative, non-monetary incentives such as High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) stickers and free/preferred parking. These are especially appealing to consumers in urban and congested areas.

3) Prioritize the development of incentive programs targeting the ride-hailing and ride-sharing marketplaces in order to:

a) Increase the number of ZEVs on the road.

b) Improve the services’ impact on air pollution.

c) Grow consumer familiarity with clean vehicles while subtly informing future purchase decisions.

4) Increase California’s clean vehicle incentive packages to counter deteriorating US environmental policies/incentives, like the $7,500 federal clean vehicle tax credit that was not renewed in 2018.

5) Streamline the redemption process to deliver consumer ZEV incentives as close to the point-of-sale as possible.

6) Implement incentive programs aimed at motivating auto dealers to offer, promote and sell ZEVs, similar to Connecticut's model, which grants state-supported cash bonuses to both dealers and individual sellers.

7) Establish second-hand market incentives to increase ZEV access among low-income communities, thereby expediting the replacement of older, less efficient vehicles with ZEVs and ultimately expanding the clean vehicle marketplace.

8) Safeguard California’s commitment to provide sustained funding for clean vehicle incentives such as fuel credit and vehicle rebate programs. These drive uptake and generate long-term confidence among consumers, automakers and infrastructure developers.

9) Present straightforward incentive guidelines for consumers, service providers, automotive manufacturers and dealers through an online portal that communicates the full-scale of incentives and benefits.

10) Reduce high costs of installing and operating hydrogen fueling and electric charging infrastructure by:

a) Reducing electricity costs for EV charging stations and hydrogen production.

b) Expediting incentives allocated toward infrastructure deployment.

A Special Thank You