CALSTART Issues Statement on May Budget Revise

PASADENA, CA, May 14, 2021 — CALSTART is excited to see Governor Gavin Newsom confirm his leadership on clean transportation and his ongoing commitment to electric vehicles in the proposed May revise budget. Due to the Federal relief funds and state’s projected budget surplus, California has an incredible one-time opportunity to make a major investment in programs that will dramatically reduce transportation emissions while creating economic development opportunity throughout the state.

Governor Newsom is proposing sustained program funding, which CALSTART has emphasized is critical to speed the transformation of the transportation sector. Specifically, the governor is proposing over $1.1 billion this year for clean vehicle and equity programs through the California Air Resources Board, as well as $500 million for infrastructure programs from the California Energy Commission. CALSTART is especially pleased to see the governor’s acknowledgement of the importance of zero-emission truck and bus funding with a multi-year $1.4 billion investment. We urge the legislature to act quickly to adopt the Governor’s proposed budget, while considering an additional appropriation for the clean vehicle rebate program.

Clean vehicles require significant investments in infrastructure and a strong positive signal from government to encourage private investment, which is why we are pleased to see the Governor calling for re-authorization of AB 8 programs and $500 million for clean infrastructure programs.

Transportation remains California’s highest emitting sector at 41% and it is critical that the state has the right rules and incentives in place to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission transportation system. Acting now to dramatically reduce emissions and incentivizing quick action will result in greater benefits for all Californians.

The current budget surplus creates opportunities to make smart investments that will pay huge dividends in cleaner air, improved mobility, and economic growth. Recent analysis suggests every dollar invested in California’s clean transportation and energy industry yields a seven-fold return resulting in increased state economic activity, jobs and local economic activity. Clean transportation manufacturers and suppliers are choosing to locate in California because of our incentive programs. Analysis of the industry shows that California likely leads the nation in the total number of “green” vehicle technology companies, many of them small businesses.

This budget provides critical funding to the state’s clean vehicle programs and will give assurance to manufacturers, suppliers, and services that there will be strong demand for the zero-emission vehicles they are bringing to market for the next three years. CALSTART looks forward to working with legislative leaders to pass the strongest clean transportation and climate budget this state has ever seen.