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Bipartisan Effort Urges for Appropriate Funding of Clean Cars 4 All Program

Villapudua Spearheads Letter Signed by 37 Legislators; Backs Funding for Regional Programs

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA – In a letter delivered today to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), more than 35 state legislators expressed concerns about how funding is allocated for the climate equity program known as Clean Cars 4 All (CC4A).

“When it comes to zero-emission vehicle adoption, residents of low-income and disadvantaged communities where the majority of older, high-polluting vehicles are registered should be prioritized for cleaner transportation options,” said Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton), who spearheaded the letter. “This is a matter of fairness and equity for the neighborhoods with the greatest need.”

Created in 2014 by the Legislature, CC4A provides down payment incentives of up to $12,000 for residents of low-income and disadvantaged communities who scrap an older gasoline-powered car and replace it with a used electric vehicle.

Currently, five regionally based CC4A programs are administered by the five largest air quality management districts. These districts cover 85 percent of the statewide population and 95 percent of state-designated disadvantaged communities. Last year, CARB created a sixth “statewide” CC4A program that serves the remaining 15 percent of the statewide population.

The Legislature appropriates state funding to CARB, who then allocates specific amounts to CC4A and other clean-mobility equity programs such as electric bike purchase incentives and EV car sharing programs.

Although the statewide CC4A program has yet to launch, it is fully funded with a $125 million allocation made by CARB in 2022. Despite this, CARB is proposing to allocate an additional $14 million to the statewide program from this year’s funding while splitting another $14 million between the five existing regional programs.

Under the funding plan to be considered by the 14 voting air resources board members next month, many fear the existing regional CC4A programs could run out of money within 12 to 14 months.

To avoid this outcome, the Legislator’s letter urges CARB to allocate the majority of available funding to the existing regional CC4A programs.

"A broad cross-section of legislators recognize that the existing Clean Cars 4 All Programs improve the health, pocketbooks, and quality of life of their constituents,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director of Coalition for Clean Air. “Like those legislators, the Coalition for Clean Air urges the Air Resources Board to ensure that these proven programs are robustly funded to continue their essential work."

The letter, signed by a bipartisan group of 37 legislators from throughout California, also reminds CARB of the Legislature’s active role with passing eight different bills over the past nine years to create Clean Cars 4 All and then improve the ongoing program implementation. The most recent legislation, signed into law in 2022, was SB 1382 (Gonzalez) which gave specific criteria to guide CARB in allocating funding for Clean Cars 4 All.

“The Clean Cars 4 All Programs being run at local air districts have the proven track record of getting the dirtiest cars off the road and replacing them with clean, zero-emission vehicles in the half of the state with the worst air quality,” said Laura Deehan, State Director for Environment California. “The last thing we should do right now is underfund or dismantle these effective local programs.”

The letter also indicates the potential for further legislation intended to continue increasing the real-world benefits that Clean Cars 4 All delivers to California’s most impacted communities.
“The Legislature will continue to focus on CC4A because of its success in providing our constituents with the opportunity to participate in the ‘EV Revolution’ and enjoy the associated benefits of cleaner air and improved health,” the letter states.