Gaines previously lobbied to get Tesla Motors to pick his district for the electric vehicle maker's Gigafactory, but his Senate Bill 40, which he first pitched in December, comes from a less-expensive EV point of view. That's because Gaines wants to put a $40,000 price cap on vehicles that qualify for California's EV rebate, effectively eliminating current Tesla vehicles from the bebefit. He also proposes increasing the rebate by $1,000 to $3,500.
The subject is topical because California accounted for about half of the country's new plug-in vehicles last year. Plug-ins also made up more than three percent of the state's new-vehicle sales. A somewhat similar proposal that would have capped the price of rebate-eligible vehicles at $60,000 was pitched last April, and was quashed by May.
Additionally, last summer, California State Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) proposed a bill designed to lure people in the more moderate income brackets into buying plug-in vehicles, including giving $3,000 to lower-income people who trade in an old car for a plug-in.