By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-Burbank) has introduced Senate Bill 301—a bill sponsored by SEMA to create a financial rebate program for converting gas- and diesel-powered motor vehicles into zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs). The legislation will allow California to support small businesses and maintain its rich car culture, while assisting consumers who want to convert their vehicles to cleaner engines.
SEMA is sponsoring the legislation, embracing the innovation of the auto industry as it works to make ZEV ownership more accessible following a similar bill introduced last year that passed in the Assembly with zero opposition.
“The aftermarket is a leader in innovation, and that includes in zero-emissions technologies,” said SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola. “SB 301 creates opportunities for our California-based small businesses, their employees and consumers to build and have access to affordable ZEVs.”
California has multiple programs, including the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) and the Clean Cars for All Program, to promote the purchase of new ZEVs. However, none of these programs assist with ZEV conversions of gas-powered vehicles that started their life with an internal-combustion engine. SB 301 addresses consumers’ desire for clean transportation options by funding a creative alternative way to make ZEV ownership more accessible and affordable.
SB 301 also preserves California’s diverse and deep-rooted car culture, while helping the state meet its ambitious climate goals. Classic cars are a core part of American history and many communities across the state. By converting their vehicles to ZEVs, classic-car owners and enthusiasts can retain a piece of California’s history and contribute to a lower-emissions future.
SB 301 will additionally benefit automotive workers and small automotive repair and ZEV conversion businesses. ZEV conversions are a rapidly growing market. Encouraging and assisting in ZEV conversions puts money back into the hands of the small, independently owned businesses to support and create sustainable, good-paying jobs.
The bill will offer eligible Californians a rebate of up to $2,000 to convert their gas-powered vehicle into a ZEV.
“It is essential that we continue to look for new methods and ideas to meet our strong climate goals,” said Senator Portantino. “SB 301 will make it much easier for many Californians who have the desire to go green but lack the financial capacity to do so. It will aid conversion by providing a financial rebate for Californians who choose to convert their gas-powered car into an electric vehicle but can’t afford to do so. Cutting-edge energy efficiency should not be reserved only for those wealthy enough to afford it.”
SEMA encourages its members and enthusiasts in California to contact their lawmakers in support of SB 301.
More information about SB 301 can be found here.