California State Senators Anthony J. Portantino (D-25) and Josh Newman (D-29) introduced Senate Bill 301, a bill sponsored by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), to create a financial rebate program for converting gas and diesel-powered motor vehicles into zero-emissions-vehicles (ZEVs). If enacted, SB 301 will offer Californians up to $2,000 for converting their car or truck into a ZEV.
The bill envisions a Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project (ZACP) that will allocate up to $2 million annually for the rebates. Eligible converted ZEVs would need a range of at least 100 miles.
SEMA said that the legislation will allow California to support small businesses and maintain its rich car culture, while assisting consumers that want to convert their vehicles to cleaner engines.
California has multiple programs, including the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) and the Clean Cars for All Program, to promote the purchase of new ZEVs. However, none of these programs assist with ZEV conversions of internal-combustion engine vehicles.
SB 301 also preserves California’s diverse and deep-rooted car culture, while helping the state meet its ambitious climate goals, SEMA said. By converting their vehicles to ZEVs, classic car owners and enthusiasts can retain a piece of California’s history and contribute to a lower-emission future.
SB 301 would additionally benefit automotive workers and small automotive repair and ZEV conversion businesses. ZEV conversions are a rapidly growing market, SEMA said.
It is essential that we continue to look for new methods and ideas to meet our strong climate goals. SB 301 will make it much easier for many Californians who have the desire to go green but lack the financial capacity to do so. It will aide conversion by providing a financial rebate for Californians who choose to convert their gas-powered car into an electric vehicle but can’t afford to do so. Cutting-edge energy efficiency should not be reserved only for those wealthy enough to afford it.—Senator Portantino