Graduate Project


Making Electric Vehicles Accessible: A Program Evaluation of California's Clean Vehicle Assistance Program Public Deposited

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  • Transportation contributes approximately 41 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and 27 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions (CARB, 2019, EPA, 2017). In response to climate change concerns, stakeholders have encouraged the use of electric and hybrid vehicles through tax credits, rebates, and education campaigns. Environmental and transportation justice groups have raised concerns about increasing access to clean transportation, especially for disadvantaged communities who are often disproportionately impacted by climate change and receive fewer mobility options than higher income households. California has become a leader in encouraging the adoption of clean vehicles, especially for disadvantaged communities, by implementing various incentive programs including the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program (CVA Program). This program provides grants to low-to-moderate income Californian’s for the purchase of a new or used clean vehicle. Participants are required to complete a financial literacy course, are limited to loans that are under 16 percent interest, and must come from an authorized dealership. This study aims to evaluate how the CVA Program has incorporated equity into the program design and implementation. This research will utilize the Greenlining Institutes Operationalizing Equity Framework to analyze program reports, the program implementation manual, and interviews with program staff. This research will also be supplemented with an analysis of how the CVA Program addresses key electric vehicle adoption barriers. Results from this paper will provide policy recommendations for electric vehicle incentive programs and state level policy recommendations to improve electric vehicle program creation. This research will aid in providing an equity lens evaluation of electric vehicle incentive programs and provide insight for other states that are considering implementing similar policies.
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