What is Charge Ahead California?

Our campaign aims to place one million light, medium, and heavy-duty electric vehicles on California’s roads over the next 10 years and ensure that all Californians, especially lower-income households in communities most impacted by air pollution, benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.

Steering Committee

  • Coalition for Clean Air
  • Communities for a Better Environment
  • Environment California
  • The Greenlining Institute
  • Natural Resources Defense Council

About the Campaign

Exhaust from cars, trucks and buses pollutes our air and contributes to climate change. Dirty air from vehicles makes tens of thousands of Californians sick, and costs us billions in avoidable health costs. Dependence on oil means Californians have no place to turn when gas prices rise. Transitioning to cleaner and more efficient cars, trucks and buses will benefit every Californian.

Roughly a third of the nations 150,000 electric cars have been purchased in California, thanks largely to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. While California leads the market nationally, plug-in electric vehicles still only account for less than two percent of new vehicle sales in the state. That number needs to increase to at least 15 percent by 2025 to put us on track to meet the state’s longer-term air quality and climate goals. The campaign focuses on directing current polluter fees on oil companies to fund existing, highly successful purchase incentive programs and to increase access to zero-emission transportation in disadvantaged communities.

Achievements to Date

To ensure low-income Californians benefit from electric vehicles, the Charge Ahead California Initiative established by SB 1275 (De León, 2014) directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to use Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (cap-and-trade) dollars to create equity programs that increase access to clean transportation in the communities most impacted by pollution and poverty, especially in “disadvantaged” communities identified pursuant to SB 535 (De León, 2012). These programs include supplemental incentives for low and moderate income Californians, a vehicle retirement and replacement pilot project, a low-income financing assistance pilot project, and a low-income electric car sharing pilot project.

Click here to download a factsheet outlining the equity programs created by the Charge Ahead California Initiative.