ELECTRIC VEHICLES: California enacts slew of electric vehicle incentives

Oct. 2, 2013

A series of approvals at the municipal and state level on Monday are giving California drivers new incentives to switch to electric vehicles (EVs).


A series of approvals at the municipal and state level on Monday are giving California drivers new incentives to switch to electric vehicles (EVs).

The city council of Palo Alto unanimously approved a proposal that would require all new single-family homes to be wired for an EV charging station. While most homes are already equipped with a 220-volt line for appliances, the cost of outfitting a new home versus retrofitting is considerably lower.

Following the Palo Alto vote, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed six bills designed to encourage EV use. They included:

  • Assembly Bill (AB) 1092 - requires state agencies to implement standards for installing EV charging outlets in apartments and commercial buildings. This measure is aimed at city users who may not be able to install charging stations for practical or safety reasons;

  • AB 266 and Senate Bill (SB) 286 - expands the types of vehicles eligible to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. AB 266 provides access to 40,000 ultra-low emission plug-in hybrids (and some hydrogen-fueled vehicles). SB 286 applies to pure zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and natural gas vehicles;

  • AB 8 - appropriates $2 billion for numerous environmental initiatives, including 100 new hydrogen fueling stations and a vehicle trade-in program where drivers can turn in their gas vehicles for a $2,500 incentive;

  • SB 359 - creates four programs supporting green vehicle purchases, including a Clean Vehicle Rebate Project; and

  • SB 454 - requires charging station providers to allow drivers to pay with a credit card. Many charging stations currently mandate registration or payment of a monthly fee to use their facilities.

The range of new measures all work toward California’s goal of having 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2025.

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