Law & Order

SEMA-Sponsored Vehicle Technology Bill Advances in California, but Final Vote on Hold

By the SEMA D.C. office

A California bill creating a financial rebate program for converting gasCalifornia- and diesel-powered vehicles into zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) has cleared several major legislative hurdles, but a final vote has been delayed until 2024 due to the state's budget deficit. 

The bill, Senate Bill (SB) 301, is authored by California Senator Anthony Portantino and sponsored by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). It would offer Californians up to $4,000 to convert their gas- or diesel-powered vehicle into a ZEV, allowing the Golden State to support small businesses and maintain its rich car culture while assisting consumers who want to convert their vehicles to cleaner motors.

The bill passed the California Assembly Appropriations Committee in September 2023 and is eligible for a final vote on the Assembly floor. However, after discussions with Senator Portantino, SEMA decided not to proceed with a vote in 2023. The delay will allow SEMA and the legislature to pick up where they left off in 2024 instead of reintroducing the bill from scratch. 

"We understand that the state's budget deficit is a major concern, and we are committed to working with the legislature to ensure that SB 301 is enacted as soon as possible," said Christian Robinson, SEMA's Senior Director of State Government Affairs & Grassroots. 

"SB 301 is a win-win for California," Robinson continued. "It will help us to reduce emissions, support small businesses and create new jobs. We are confident that the legislature will see the value of this bill and pass it in 2024." 

SB 301 has won the backing of business and environmental groups alike. The California Manufacturing and Technology Association (CMTA), the Los Angeles Business Federation (LA BizFed), the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, BREATHE California, and CALSTART have all endorsed the bill. The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) has also labeled SB 301 as a "Job Creator." 

California has multiple programs to promote the purchase of new ZEVs, but none assist with ZEV conversions of gas-powered vehicles. SB 301 would fill this gap, making it more affordable for Californians to convert their existing vehicles to ZEVs. 

For more information, contact Christian Robinson at