Senate Bill 1275
Charge Ahead California Initiative

Senator Kevin de Leόn

Co-authors: Senator Fran Pavley, Assembly Member Phil Ting
Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, Assembly Member Chris Holden


Four in ten Californians, more than in any other state, live close enough to a freeway or busy road that they are at increased risk of asthma, cancer and other health hazards.  As a result, nearly twice as many Californians die from the health impacts of vehicular pollution as from motor vehicle accidents. In addition, transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in California, accounting for 38 percent of emissions.  Finally, Californians spend $70 billion on gasoline and diesel annually, $40 billion of which leaves the state in payments to oil companies and foreign oil producing countries.


Accelerating the deployment of zero emission vehicles and providing transportation choices are essential to achieving California’s healthy air standards and GHG reduction targets.  Clean transportation choices are critical to reducing air pollution in the state’s most heavily impacted communities.

In addition, the use of electricity as a transportation fuel can help keep money in the state, stimulating the economy and insulating family budgets from gas price spikes, which hit lower income households especially hard. Money saved at the pump by charging up on electricity stays in California, creating 16 times more jobs than money spent on gasoline.

Thanks to California’s policy leadership, California accounts for one-third of the country’s electric vehicle sales.  But transforming the market to benefit all Californians will take a sustained, long-term commitment to better serve the state’s most polluted communities.


SB 1275 (2014) created the Charge Ahead California Initiative to bring one million electric cars, trucks and buses to California over the next decade and ensure that low-income Californians, who are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, benefit from the transition to a clean transportation sector.


e charge ahead pic 2

Senator De Leόn joins volunteers from Communities for a Better Environment for an East LA Electric Vehicle Day.  

SB 1275 is accomplishing these goals in two ways:

First, it directs the Air Resources Board to develop a long-term funding plan to meet the goal of putting one million cars, trucks and buses on California’s streets while ensuring that low-income/disadvantaged communities benefit from this transition.

Second, the bill modifies existing programs and creates new programs to further the goal of extending the benefits of electric transportation for disadvantaged and low- and moderate-income communities. This includes:

  • Directing the Air Resources Board to modify the existing Clean Vehicle Rebate Program and to create a credit enhancement program for low-income drivers who wish to purchase or lease an electric car.
  • Incentivizing electric car sharing programs in low income neighborhoods.

The bill also modifies the existing low-income driver scrappage program to allow clean vehicle rebates to be added to existing incentives for retirement and replacement of gross polluters.

Click here to download the SB 1275 Final Text.