Newsom proposes first funding for gas car ban

Source: By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2021

Newsom plans to propose the funding in his fiscal 2021-22 budget, he said in a statement, adding that he is “building on California’s historic commitment” to phase out gas-fueled vehicles.

The governor issued an executive order last year saying no new gas-fueled passenger cars could be sold after 2035. The California Air Resources Board will begin drafting regulations this year to meet that goal.

“The proposal will support jobs and economic growth and provide air quality benefits and support for low-income Californians to purchase cleaner vehicles,” Newsom said in the statement Monday.

The money would encourage the purchase of zero-emissions trucks, buses and off-road freight equipment, he said. Newsom did not provide details about how the program would work. The state currently uses revenue from its carbon emissions cap-and-trade auctions to offer rebates to people who buy clean cars. It also has a program to help low-income residents swap older, polluting vehicles for cleaner ones.

Money will also go toward construction of electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations, which Newsom said are “necessary to accelerate zero-emission vehicle adoption.”

“The Budget proposal will leverage additional private sector capital to build the necessary infrastructure and create jobs to support California’s recovery,” he added.

Newsom also proposed spending $300 million from the general fund “for the most critical statewide deferred maintenance, including greening of state infrastructure.”

Projects include the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at state-owned facilities.