Proposed bill would increase rebate for electric cars bought in California

SAN FRANCISCO -- How does a $7,500 rebate sound for purchasing an electric car? A California lawmaker announced his plans to make it happen, with the goal of getting the state on track with its goals to fight climate change.

It's all about getting more people charging and driving electric cars, and the bill's sponsor Assemblyman Phil Ting hopes tripling the incentive will do just that.

"We have a rebate program that's not really an incentive it's more like an entitlement," Ting says.

Ting says state's current $2,500 rebate doesn't encourage drivers to buy electric now.

"We have a rebate program that's not really an incentive it's more like an entitlement," Ting says. "If you can get $2500 this year if you can get $2500 three years from now, what's the incentive to get into a clean car today, or get it yesterday? There is none."

His proposed bill would allow state regulators to increase that rebate to up to 7,500 dollars then gradually decline over time. The goal is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

In California, 80 percent come from passenger vehicles, and other supporters say something has to be done.

"Gasoline cars are driving us to climate chaos," says Jack Fleck of 350 Bay Area. "We actually have to stop using fossil fuel vehicles."

The bill would also create a stable pot of funding for the payments. This year, like years past, funding for rebates has already run out, and people are on a waiting list.

"We have to change that funding stream so that people are assured when they go and purchase that vehicle that rebate is there," Ting says.

The state wants to have 1.5 million clean cars on the road by 2025, and 5 million clean cars on the road by 2030.

The bill goes before the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday and still has to pass the full Assembly and Senate. Ting says the soonest we could see these rebates would be next year.
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