California Is Pushing Automakers To Prioritize ‘Equity’ In Electric Vehicle Sales

(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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California will allow automakers to get extra credit toward electric vehicle (EV) sales quotas attached to its ban of gas-powered cars if they participate in the state’s EV equity programs, which may allow them to avoid hefty fines, according to the Associated Press.

California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) finalized a rule on Aug. 25 that will outlaw the sale of all new gas-fueled cars by 2035 which will push its residents to exclusively buy EVs which have an average price of $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. To enforce this law, the state will set sales quotas for electric car sales and fine automakers up to $20,000 for every EV that is not sold; however, if car manufacturers help the state provide EVs to low-income residents they can fill quotas easier and avoid punishment, the AP reported. (RELATED: California To Punish Automakers That Don’t Meet Electric Vehicle Production Quotas)

Automakers can boost their sales quotas and avoid fines by selling their cars at a discounted rate to car sharing programs like San Joaquin’s Stockton Mobility Collective, which received $7.4 million from the state government, according to the AP. The program will build charging stations in San Joaquin neighborhoods and will provide 30 EVs that low-income residents can rent out on an hourly or daily basis.

Automakers can also make sure EVs with expired leases go to California dealers that participate in trade-in programs or sell electric cars at a discounted price to better fill their quotas, the AP reported.  However, in order to sell the EVs at a discount, the cars would have to cost less than $20,275 and light-duty trucks less than $26,670 to qualify for the extra credit toward manufacturers’ quotas.

CORTE MADERA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 27: An electric car charges at a mall parking lot on June 27, 2022 in Corte Madera, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California pledged $10 billion over six years for incentives, charging infrastructure and other efforts to help low-income Californians acquire EVs, according to a January press release.

Newsom’s programs also include a $7,000 rebate for income-qualified drivers to buy or lease an EV as well as a special financing program that can provide low-income electric car buyers with up to $5,000 in down payment assistance. California hopes these measures will significantly raise the amount of EVs on the road which will curb fossil fuel emissions to make the state carbon neutral by 2045.

Newsom’s office and CARB did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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