California, no question about it, is one of the world’s premier leaders in the transition to electric vehicles. Various California policies — not to mention startups — have been critical for stimulating more electric car production and more electric car consumer demand. That said, whenever it comes to spending money, a debate is just around the corner.
A California bill was recently set to provide a further boost to electric vehicle adoption in the state — to the tune of $3 billion! At the last minute, that part of the bill disappeared and $0 essentially took its place.
Instead of dishing out more cash, whoever was in charge of negotiating and drafting the final legislation got something else inserted — a requirement that the California Air Resources Board examine “the best ways to write and implement EV rebate legislation,” as the Los Angeles Times puts it.
If that doesn’t have you depressed enough, note that the deadline for such reports is September 1, 2019. If that means that California is going to wait another 2+ years to consider where to put $3 billion, that’s a painfully long wait when the effects of global warming are heating up and air pollution continues to demolish lives, families, and communities.
The positive angle here is that the state is aiming to spend its money as wisely as possible for maximum effect. “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 is not yet passed. It’s next on the plate of the full California legislature. We’ll keep you posted if something changes dramatically.