Influencing Clean Vehicle Policy in California and Beyond

Influencing Clean Vehicle Policy in California and Beyond

Posted on

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 12:05pm

 

The California Air Resources Board has recently improved several of its policies to increase the sales of electric vehicles and make them more accessible to lower-income Californians.  Each of these policy changes was supported by research recently completed by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and collaborators.

Increasing Clean Vehicle Rebates for Low and Moderate Income Drivers
More Californians can now afford clean vehicles, in part thanks to research by Tamara Sheldon, J.R. DeShazo, and Richard Carson. The researchers assessed the performance of alternative rebate designs for plug-in electric vehicles and compared these alternatives in terms of cost effectiveness and equity. They found that providing progressive rebate levels based on consumer income levels would provide benefits within those performance criteria. Based in part on these findings, this year the state of California adopted a progressive rebate system in which low and moderate income drivers receive extra financial incentives (ranging from $3,000 - $6,500) to purchase a clean vehicle. There is now also a cap based on income (households making over $500,000 are not eligible for most rebates). The full study, "Designing Policy Incentives for Cleaner Technologies: Lessons from California's Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate Program," can be found here.  

Strategically Linking Vehicle Purchase Incentives with Vehicle Retirement Incentives
Research from J.R. DeShazo also found that policymakers could facilitate more emission reductions by strategically linking vehicle purchase incentives with vehicle retirement incentives (e.g., cash for clunkers). This is because purchase incentives alone do not influence the type, timing, and pollution intensity of the retirement vehicle. As a result, they fail to influence a decision that is a critical determinant of emissions. Aligned with our recommendations, California’s Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP) was approved by AB118 legislation to augment the state’s existing vehicle retirement program. Now call EFMP Plus-Up, it is helping hundreds of low income drivers get out of old, inefficient vehicles and into clearer and more efficient cars.  This and other recommendations are described in the report “Improving Incentives for Clean Vehicle Purchases in the U.S.: Challenges and Opportunities,” here 

Shaping the Legislative Conversation on HOV Access for Clean Vehicles
Policymakers have sought to spur consumer adoption of advanced clean vehicles by granting them single-occupancy access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. A study by J.R. DeShazo and Tamara Sheldon offer the first causal evaluation of these policies that accommodates geographic variability in the magnitude of this policy’s treatment effect. The study finds that roughly one quarter of California PEV registrations during 2010-2013 were a result of the HOV lane policy. The research is shaping the current legislative conversation about how to best extend HOV access in the future. The full report can be found here 

 

 

The California Air Resources Board has recently improved several of its policies to increase the sales of electric vehicles and make them more accessible to lower-income Californians.  Each of these policy changes was supported by research recently completed by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and collaborators.