California Bill Would Boost Electric Car Rebates By $3 Billion, But Where Will The Money Come From?

July 21, 2017

Los Angeles Times
By Russ Mitchell

Over seven years, California has spent $430 millionon low-emission vehicle subsidies to help lower the cost for car buyers.

Now the state Legislature is looking to extend that by another seven years, but with a price tag of $3 billion.

Assembly Bill 1184 is being slammed for leaving basic questions unanswered, including the biggest one: Where would the money come from?

The legislation favors automakers such as Tesla that make electric-only cars over carmakers that sell plug-in hybrids, which would not be eligible.

The Assembly’s own analysts have described the bill as “duplicative,” “unclear” and “problematic.”

Even some supporters admit it’s not fully cooked. And one Democratic state senator, Jerry Hill, has even proposed stripping funding until revenue sources are identified.

“I know this is something that’s just come off the griddle recently,” state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) said at a recent hearing. “I just want to take a deeper think, a more elegant approach to policymaking.”

There’s little time left for deep thinking. The bill has already passed the Assembly and two Senate committees. A full Senate vote could send the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk within weeks.