Plan to boost electric-vehicle rebates to $3 billion is scrapped in favor of state study

A $3-billion spending bill to boost rebates for electric vehicles was amended in the California Legislature late Friday.

The $3 billion was taken out of the bill, . No dollar amount was inserted to take its place.

Instead, the bill is now a directive to the state Air Resources Board to conduct studies on the best ways to write and implement EV rebate legislation, with the report due Sept. 1, 2019.

The original bill also presented a rough formula for higher rebate amounts. That language was stripped out of the bill as well.

The final report, according to the current text of the bill, should suggest funding levels necessary to meet state emissions goals for zero and near-zero emission vehicles, and recommend changes to the existing rebate program to increase market penetration of such cars and trucks.

The bill allows the Air Resources Board to hire a contractor to prepare the report.

The bill, in its drastically altered form, will now be considered by the full Legislature.

The state Department of Finance had opposed the previous version of the bill because it called for the “appropriation of billions without identifying a funding source.”

The bill also has been roundly criticized for lack of detail and confusing language, and has undergone several transformations during the legislative session.

The $3 billion would have funded rebates until 2030 and been six times higher than the nearly $500 million spent on EV rebates so far.

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