The state of California will give a $1.6-million grant to the city of Los Angeles for a program that is designed to put more moderate-income people behind the wheel of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Senate President Kevin de León spearheaded the effort, and California Governor Jerry Brown acknowledged it as a way to help push the most popular US state towards a zero-emissions vehicle fleet during the next couple of decades. It's a pilot program for now, but it's a start.

Los Angeles will make about 100 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles available for carsharing purposes throughout the south and eastern part of the city. The ultimate goal is to get as many as 7,000 people to participate in the program. No start date has been set, but officials say that the $1.6 million pledged will free up as many as five times that amount in the form of partnerships and additional grants.

De Leon has long been pushing to enact laws that encourage lower-income people to adopt plug-in vehicle technology, and has so far looked to tweak government-funded incentives for plug-in vehicle purchases in favor of lower-income households. That's because plug-in purchases for more moderate-income people has always been an uphill battle due to the price premium those vehicles command. The result is that many plug-in vehicles today are in the driveways of those in higher income-tax brackets.

One entity that applauded the new effort was plug-in vehicle charging station maker ChargePoint. You can read the ChargePoint press release below.
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ChargePoint Applauds Los Angeles Electric Vehicle Car-sharing Pilot

Campbell, Calif.– Pasquale Romano, President and Chief Executive Officer of ChargePoint, issued the following statement in connection with today's announcement by Senate President Kevin de León and California Air Resources Board Chair and Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointee Mary Nichols announcing the award of $1.6 million to the City of Los Angeles for an electric vehicle pilot program in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

"Today, California leaders are making a clear statement: California's innovation economy is for everyone, including economically hard hit communities where clean technology investments mean more jobs and healthier communities.

"I applaud Senate President Kevin DeLeón for writing the law that supports development of this creative solution to deliver electric vehicle charging and car-sharing services, and Mayor Eric Garcetti for his vision to make Los Angeles a world-leading green city, with air quality that protects the health of every resident.

"Transitioning California's 33,000,000 vehicles to zero-emission is a monumental challenge for our generation. We must be nimble and creative and listen to our communities, while harnessing both private and public investment. Working together, we can do this."

About ChargePoint
ChargePoint is the largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the world, with more than 23 ,500 charging locations. Ranked #1 by leading independent research firm, Navigant Research, ChargePoint makes advanced hardware and best-in-class cloud based software. ChargePoint's open network is utilized by many leading EV hardware makers and encourages all EV charging manufacturers to join.

ChargePoint's real-time network information including the availability of charging locations throughout the nation is available through the ChargePoint mobile app, online and via the navigation systems in top-selling EVs including the new BMW i3 and the Nissan LEAF. A driver connects to a ChargePoint station every 6 seconds and by initiating over 10 million charging sessions, ChargePoint drivers have saved over 9 million gallons of gasoline and driven over 222 million gas free miles.
For more information about ChargePoint, visit www.chargepoint.com, www.facebook.com/chargepoint or on Twitter @ChargePointnet.

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