SANTA CRUZ, CA – Ecology Action will host an Affordable Electric Vehicle Clinic: How to Qualify for a Free or Low-Cost EV on Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. The clinic is a compliment to the recently launched Central Coast EV Purchase Guidance Program.
The clinic busts the myth that electric cars are only for the well-off. Participants will be shocked to learn about state and regional rebate funds for low-to-moderate income drivers that make purchasing or leasing a new or used electric car extremely affordable – $35-$100/month and in some cases, FREE. On the Central Coast, income-qualified residents are eligible for increased cash rebates on new and used electric vehicles through our local, community-owned electricity provider, Central Coast Community Energy (3CE). The clinic will make it clear to participants who is eligible, how to obtain incentive programs, and cover electric vehicle basics such as charging and battery range.
This FREE virtual clinic is open to the public and will be presented in English with live Spanish interpretation. Those interested in attending must register in advance: Affordable EV Clinic Registration
The Central Coast Electric Vehicle (EV) Purchase Guidance Program is designed to break down access barriers to electric cars by providing a person-to-person approach to low- income qualified individuals through the entire process of buying their first electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid. The program is staffed by trained Purchase
Guidance Advisors, many of which are EV owners, and include community organization staff from Ecology Action, Regeneración, Greenpower, and Community Environmental Council.
The Central Coast Electric EV Purchase Guidance Program and the Affordable EV Clinic are made possible with an equity focused investment from Electrify America and Access Clean California. The investment enables Ecology Action and its partners Regeneración, Greenpower, and Community Environmental Council to help residents of underserved Central Coast communities unlock valuable state and regional incentives to purchase their own low-maintenance, clean driving electric vehicles through direct one-on-one assistance and the easy-to-use online benefits finder tool.
Low-income communities contain the lowest fraction of EV owners. From June 2018 to May 2020 the state issued 109 low/moderate income rebates in our region compared to the 1,576 “standard” ZEV rebates issued (for moderate and high income). “When compared to the thousands of eligible families in our area, and the state targets for conversion, it is clear inclusive assistance is needed quickly and authentically to prevent the access gap widening as the clean transportation transition gains momentum and grows,” said Nancy Faulstich, Executive Director of Regeneración-Pajaro Valley Climate Action.
Transportation is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions. A rapid and equitable transition to EVs is critical to protect communities from pollution and worsening climate change impacts. To adequately respond to the climate crisis and California’s 2020 wildfires, Governor Newsom set new targets that require the sale of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.
“By helping low- and moderate-income households find all of the state incentives and rebates that they are eligible for, we can help more drivers move forward with applications, save money, and switch to an electric vehicle that fits their needs,” said Ecology Action Vice President Community Programs Kirsten Liske. Providing EV purchase guidance is part of a long-term effort to make electric vehicle options more accessible to lower-income families and communities of color.
Since the kick-off of the EV Purchase Guidance Assistance Program, sixteen Central Coast residents have purchased their own EVs with assistance from a program advisor.
“I was driving a 2006 Toyota Matrix with 150,000 miles on it. Now, with the help of my Purchase Guidance Advisor, Michael Saint, and these programs, I’m in a new, reliable, green car saving hundreds of dollars a month in gas and maintenance costs. Plus, I feel good about helping to protect my community from air pollution and climate change,” said Sochi Carmona.
To find out more about the Central Coast EV Purchase Guidance Program click here: EVs for Everyone.
To explore the numerous EV rebates available to Monterey Bay and Central Coast residents that make driving an EV very affordable – and some leases free — please visit Ecology Action’s EV Center.