The California Legislature passed SB 1275 (De Leon) last week, which would give the California Air Resources Board authority to eliminate the cash rebate incentive for wealthy people who buy electric vehicles. It would then use that revenue to increases the cash incentives for lower-income Californians.
I debated the merits of this approach on KPCC radio last month on the Airtalk program. My write-up of the debate is here. Meanwhile, Grist celebrates that electric vehicles won’t be “pretentious” anymore, as if the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt were glamor cars.
As I noted in my write-up, half of all Tesla Model S purchasers reported that the rebate made no difference in their decision. So why not use those funds for people who are truly on the fence without additional rebate money? The goal here for everyone should be to maximize the effectiveness of these limited rebate dollars and spur the greatest adoption possible of electric vehicles. The details will be figured out by agency experts, and that sounds fine to me. The governor has until the end of the month to sign.