The Golden State's going a little more green once again. The California Air Resources Board approved $27 million in incentives that will be used to accelerate sales of zero-emission vehicles in the most populous U.S. state.

CARB said that a "majority" of the funds will go towards purchase incentives for plug-ins and other zero-emission vehicles. About $10 million will go towards hybrid and zero-emission buses and trucks. So far, California, which has already mandated that one in seven new cars sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2025, has given out incentives to owners of more than 8,500 passenger cars, trucks and buses since 2008.

The program will likely raise eyebrows to those acknowledging that the state is cash-strapped. Still, California, which accounts for about one in seven U.S. registered vehicles, continues to take a leadership role in the green-vehicle movement. In fact, Darrell Issa, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, recently sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency questioning CARB's influence in the federal government's drafting of last year's heavy-duty-truck greenhouse-gas emissions standards.


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  • 35 Comments
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      PR, I feel like California has other incentives they can use that don't cost as much, if anything at all. For example HOV access for hybrids, EVs, natural gas cars, etc. As I recall, these incentives were hugely successful in selling targeted cars and don't cost the state much. When you are in tough economic times I'd argue that it's not a matter of having an incentive or not, it's a matter of finding incentives that have an effect and cost little. I have not seen the actual text of this new CA plan, but if it is like the Federal subsidy, then even EVs that cost $100,000 or more are getting a subsidy. I'd argue that there is a price point where the subsidy is irrelevant to the buyer and not much of an incentive at all. Iceland's plan is much better where their subsidy is limited to cars priced within the reach of the middle class.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      This program is really a wash. If you buy a new EV, you will pay a bunch of money in sales tax, property tax, and registration fees on that EV. This program merely ends up as giving back some of that tax you paid. So what they should really do is get rid of this program and just reduce the sales tax on EVs to 1% or something. That would simplify administration and get rid of the complaints of this being a "give-away of government money". It would just be a tax-incentive. It would merely be allowing those people who are going electric to clean our air and reduce trade deficits to keep some of their own money.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        As the official Radical Right Wing Extremist here, I can say, 'works for me.' To the right wingers....yes, I know, picking winners and losers, but, at least this reduces the various taxes, fees, etc., and makes things more simple. May as well make the system less insane for a single class of vehicle, of nothing else...
      Vlad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wouldn't it be better to allocate more to trucks, and less to personal cars? I remember seeing calculations showing 4-5 years payback for fixed route commercial vehicles. Passenger cars are nowhere close. A little incentive on top of it will make it simply irresistible.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vlad
        I don't understand. If trucks already have a decent payback and cars don't, isn't the money better spent on cars so they can have a payback so people will buy them?
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vlad
        Vlad -- CARB has other programs that are already addressing heavy truck emissions, like their Clean Port initiative, and the heavy truck MPG restrictions phasing in over the next 11 years. This is just one program.
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Thanks, that's good to know.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, and Darrell Issa is my idiot representative in San Diego County. Just another dumb California Republican who should move to Mississippi instead of trying to turn California into Mississippi
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh man, you will appreciate your republicans over there if you find out what real republicans are like outside of California, lol. You get the watered down version that's too scared to mess with a pack of liberals. Issa sounds like a genuine pain in the butt though - hopefully his term is on the short side of things..
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          The guy has Dana Rohrabacher to keep him company. I don't think anybody watered down those two at all.
      HollywoodF1
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those worried about the allocation of funds to education versus CARB-- These funds represent $0.72 per year for four years for each child in California. This money will do more at CARB to benefit their futures, from the standpoints of health and economic prosperity than it would in their educational fund.
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      for comparative purposes this state is also bankrupt. yet our democratic gov. does things like just giving tax breaks to 'appease' middle class who happen to have a stable with OVER ten stalls. and also has back door deals with fracking cos. which is literally driving out younger folks with options and we have ZERO incentives to be green at all...while just CUTTING 200 mill from local primary schools resulting in basically fifty kids crammed into same class in elem level whereby virtually no actual educating is going on...so compared to our total clus8erfU8 I would take at least having any incentive to put on a solar panel or buy elec car!!!!!! the whole country is MORALLY bankrupt. middle half where we GROW THINGS is on f!re!!!! parts are underwater so at least CA is doing SOMETHING!!!!
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @george costanza
        Much of that confused me, but maybe half I thought, 'can't argue with that logic.'. Cool.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      UK government offers a massive £5,000 ($7,734) a car incentive to buy electric cars subsidy paid for by the British taxpayer, but despite this very generous offer nobody is actually interested buying them here, sales have fallen from the highs of last year 100 EV sales a month in the UK. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-2083541/Despite-5-000-subsidies-battery-powered-cars-fall-flat.html
        SNP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        LMAO. That's cause it requires people have a charging station. I havent been to UK, but I thought large homes, backyards, and garages arent common for most people who have enough money to buy electric, but not enough money to still rely on renting and accepting tax credits.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm kinda surprised this got funded. But it is pretty small amount relative to the size of the California budget. But having some sort of incentive program at this point is needed if they want to hit their ZEV targets. This will help keep the ZEV industry alive while oil prices remain low.
        SNP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Lets just say if California isnt successful in stretching their future budgets far enough until EVs reach critical mass and mass consumption, they will be in a lot of trouble. It's like subsidizing the computer infrastructure throughout the 70's-90's without knowing when an internet/computer age would appear.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      we need better cars california. rules and regulations alone isn't enough
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        California has the most rules and regs on cars of any state, by far! Hm, i heard some company named after an electric genius was working on what you're talking about..
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          you heard wrong 2WM
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "California has the most rules and regs on cars of any state, by far!" Of course . . . we are the only one allowed to! Emissions controls are generally pre-empted by Federal law. But because the LA smog got so bad, California was granted special rights to create their own emissions laws. All other states can follow the California ones or use the EPA ones.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        So you're saying California should pick winners? I'd rather California just set the rules and let companies duke it out.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          don't be mindless. yes they should pick winners. that's what leading is. and to do that you build wisdom and knowledge. all legislation is about picking winners. think a little
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should use that money to buy the first set of batteries in EV's. How many $6,000-$10,000 battery packs woul that buy for home converters, fleet vehicles, and a further rebate for fully EV production vehicles.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, CARB spends more on collecting the Science involved with pollution than most nations spend. They actually do know what they are talking about and have the Science to back it up. I realize that increasingly conservatives reject the the exact Science you ask for, but that doesn't change the fact that the Science is real and exists. "Just over 34 percent of conservatives had confidence in science as an institution in 2010, representing a long-term decline from 48 percent in 1974" http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/03/29/study-tracks-erosion-conservative-confidence-science http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/03/environment-usa-northcarolina-idINL2E8I3DW320120703 I'm certain there will be plenty of posts by the anti-Science block who will reject out of hand the Science that CARB bases their decisions on. Bring it on. As for other priorities, that doesn't change the math on it costing less to spend the money now compared to delaying and paying much, much more in the future. Spending more in the future means having less money available in the future to pay for all those other priorities you mentioned. Are there hard choices to make? There certainly are. There is no magical solution where everything has upsides and there are absolutely zero downsides. That is magical thinking.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's either $27 million dollars in involuntarily donated tax payer money, or $27 million more debt for the already budget crisis california government. Whats hilarious too is when these tax breaks are going to car buyers that are already very wealthy and affluent, as just another slap in the face.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Aren't you right wingers always complaining that the "very wealthy and affluent" are always paying the lion's share of taxes anyways? Shouldn't you folks be happy that you are getting your own money back?
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          EZEE -- Actually it was just a smart-ass sarcastic comment, not really an argument. The real argument is that if Ducman69 is pissed off about $27 million dollars of tax payer money/debt to avoid Beijing-style air pollution problems, he will REALLY be pissed off if Cali did nothing at all and it ends up costing $227 million or $527 million to clean up the mess after it is already created. But I already covered this concept, and Ducman69 already ignored it, so he got the smart-ass sarcastic response instead. There is a cost of action. There is a cost of inaction. Ducman69 doesn't seem to understand the concept of the cost of inaction, and how it also would be paid for "in involuntarily donated tax payer money" or in "more debt". But you can't argue math and logic with these guys when they see it, ignore it, and post pure dogma anyways.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          My engineering mind filters out sarcasm sometimes. You obviously were, but, it is an interesting argument, for an interesting argument. My point: Argument: only the rich by electrics, so why subsidize the rich, you filthy hippie? Counter argument: yes, but if the rich pay all the taxes, like you say, then it would be nice to give them something back, you heartless conservative. Political arguments on a philosophical level can be fascinating, and your retort was a but deeper than you suspected. Regardless of whether I agree or not, it was interesting.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Not a bad argument, however the response would be, 'let the vehicle sink or swim on its merits.' As far as the Chesapeake argument goes, that is a deflection argument ment to lead one away from the current comment - simple Alinsky tactic. One can easily discuss that in another thread, with valid pros and cons. Supporting the EV industry is a worthy discussion, but of course, California is scary heavy in debt, and spending $27 million new on anything is....well....more likely than not they are past the point of no return, so I guess it is sooner or later....
        Vlad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Chesapeake Energy is paying 1% effective tax rate while poisoning the wells all around. Guess that's their fair share. What's hilarious is that "fiscal conservatives" are just fine with that. But any public program, no matter how useful and well thought-out gets them up in arms.
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