Governor Jerry Brown has signed six bills recently to encourage California drivers to buy electric vehicles. But does America’s largest market for hybrids and electric vehicles really need more buying incentives?
California is leading the way in electric car sales, with approximately 35% of all EVs in America being found in the Golden State, with a ton of incentives thrown at early adopters of electrified vehicles. For example, the “White Sticker” program that allows zero emission, hydrogen fuel cell, and compressed natural gas vehicles to use carpool lanes, regardless of the number of occupants. Given California’s rather epic traffic situation, this is a huge boon for those in a rush.
That program has now been extended until 2019. In addition to the White Sticker program, the “Green Sticker” program has also been extended until 2019. The Green Sticker program allows up to 40,000 low emission vehicles, like the Chevy Volt, to also use carpool lanes.
Another bill signed by the governor will open EV charging stations to all types of EVs, as well as make these charging stations easier to operate and easier to find. Yet another bill signed will require state buildings and state housing to develop standards for integrating EV chargers into their campuses and houses.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Governor Brown signed a bill that will provide $48 million to fund programs to encourage EV purchases and EV fleet modernization. This bill would extend several programs to reduce automobile emissions by supporting low emission vehicle technology development.
I always get a little worried when these so called “incentive” programs are making the news because often times a little bit of homework reveals that a lot of money is spent to incentivize and yet there are horribly low returns. However, California is definitely dangling a lot of carrots in front of new car buyers in order to get them to make the “greener” choice, and this incentives certainly seem to be working, just like they do in Norway. Maybe this is the best way to incenticize electric vehicles?
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison