In LA, a push to make EVs accessible to low-income communities

One of the biggest arguments launched against EV proponents is the cost of the technology. The higher upfront purchase price of PEVS can make purchasing an electric vehicle cost prohibitive for many people.

LA HighwayA new program in Los Angeles is looking to change that, and keep 2,150 tons of carbon from LA roads out of the air.

Thanks to a $1.6 billion dollar grant from the California Air Resources board, the city will launch a PEV car-sharing program, and focus on putting charging stations in low-income neighborhoods. The program will start with 100 cars as a pilot, but hopes to reach around 7,000 people. The plan is to reach out to residents through local community organizations, who have already taken the lead on deciding on best locations.

Overall, EVs are expected to become more affordable. We’re already seeing mid-price models like the Volt dropping into the mid-twenties (after taking the federal tax credit), and there’s the obvious benefit of money saved on gas.

However, it’s governmental programs like LA’s car sharing pilot and other incentives that can really drive city-wide EV adoption. In a recent report from the International Council on Clean Transportation, LA was one of the cities with the highest share of EVs, and the report argues that that’s because of the priority California has put on incentivizing their use.

GreenCar reports writes:

“All of the top cities were found to be engaging in multiple activities to promote electric cars--from investing in charging infrastructure and granting cash incentives, to giving drivers perks like solo carpool-lane access.”

We love seeing innovative, inspirational programs take hold across the country, and hope our local and state policymakers are watching too!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Kevin Stanchfield via Creative Commons license.