Take Action to Keep Strong ZEV Policies in CA - Oppose AB 1964!
Dear Plug In America Friends,
Although September and National Drive Electric Week are right upon us, the California Legislature is still in full swing until August 31. As you may have seen in the news, it's been a very busy month so far with debates centered around California's landmark cap and trade program. Caught up in the mix of all the political discussions are zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and AB 1964. While initiated with good intention, the bill would slow the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in California as it currently reads.
Here's the breakdown. The good - AB 1964 would remove the limit of 85,000 green HOV decals for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles to access the HOV lane, and set a new, much higher target. Those who purchase an EV between January 2018 - January 2019 will have access to the HOV lane until January 2021, and those who purchase after January 2019 will also have access for 3 years. This gives anyone purchasing a PHEV some certainty that a freen decal will be available, and he/she can use the HOV lane.
The bad - the bill only extends the green HOV decal program for PHECs, but not the white decal program for pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which are cleaner than PHEVs and have zero tailpipe emissions. If nothing changes, drivers of BEVs will not be allowed to access the HOV lane after January 1, 2019. This is just backwards policy, and will not help California achieve the state goal of 1.5 million ZEVs ont he road by 2025. And, as EV drivers, we know that access to the HOV lane can tip the scale in favor of purchasing a BEV. AB 1964 will no doubt slow the growth of the BEV market.
There's more bad - AB 1964 will adversely affect the market for PHEVs by placing an additional income restriction on who is eligible for the green decal. Rather than cause this market uncertainty when EV sales represent just 1.7% of California new car sales in 2015 (a tiny portion), we urge the removal of the income restriction, and suggest that additional incentives be put in place for the low-income and used vehicle market.
We need to act before the day ends on Thursday, August 25, 2016 to keep strong ZEV policies in place in California - ones that build off of California's past strong leadership on EVs. Tell your legislator to oppose AB 1964 today!
Thank you for your support,
Policy Director, Plug In America