As California moves to quickly replace gas-powered cars with zero-emission vehicles, the biggest challenge might be the most fundamental: Most California households can’t afford most electric cars.
Two years ago, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, issued an executive order banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. This year, he’s opposing a ballot measure to fund the transition to electric vehicles – siding with Republicans and against fellow Democrats, environmental groups, firefighters and labor unions.
Advocates for electric vehicles called for support for Proposition 30, a statewide clean air initiative, during a briefing Thursday morning in De la Guerra Plaza. Michael Chiacos, director of climate policy for the Community Environmental Council, described the initiative as an effort to help all Californians afford electric vehicles. ‘We need EVs for working people, not just wealthy residents,’ Mr. Chiacos said during the Santa Barbara talk, attended by a small audience.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desire to defeat Proposition 30 still confuses Mary Creasman, CEO of California Environmental Voters, an organization that advocates for policies to curb climate change. He has been a leader on environmental initiatives, Creasman said. So why would he oppose a new tax on wealthy residents that could help the state more quickly get electric vehicles on the road and reduce catastrophic wildfires? Creasman’s hunch: ‘I think it comes down to political money.