Rebates for Electric Vehicle Buyers Could Triple Under Proposed Bill
A proposed bill introduced earlier this year and that was revamped a month ago is seeking to help California meet its goals to reduce the effects of climate change. Assembly Bill 1046 (AB 1046), introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting, would allow state regulators to increase the average for a consumer’s rebate for an electric vehicle to up to $7,500. The proposed bill will also provide stable funding for the payments, which the bill’s author hopes will swiftly increase rebates and eventually reduce them over time as electrical vehicles become more popular. This bill could end up tripling the rebates for consumers who purchase zero-emission vehicles. Assemblyman Ting stated the following regarding California’s climate change reduction goals,
If we don’t individually move into clean cars, there’s no way we’re going to get there. Even if we did great on everything else but clean cars, we’re just not going to do it.
The current rebate program in the state gives buyers a flat rebate of $2,500 for full-battery electric vehicles. A report last year by the Air Resources Board claimed that rising passenger vehicle emissions is hindering the state’s goals. The state’s emissions goal is to cut emissions overall to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Another thing that the proposed bill will do is make the state provide an uninterrupted funding source for the rebates, which currently runs out every fiscal year and this apparently forces buyers to wait for a rebate until state leaders authorize more funding. A major issue with this bill is that it doesn’t have a funding source, so the bill will allow the state to borrow money to create a fund so it can provide continuous rebates without a waiting list.
The bill will leave it to the Air Resources Board to fill in any missing details to implement the bill’s plan. It will also require the board to set these rebates with some guidelines. The bill prohibits the board from increasing taxes or using money from utility customers to fund the bill’s intentions. Both the Senate and the Assembly will need to approve AB 1046 in order for it to make it to the governor’s office. This bill may be great news for people looking to purchase an electric vehicle, but it also may be bad for the state due to it not having a source of funding.