Senator Lena Gonzalez Introduces SB 529 The EVs for All Act to Bring Affordable EV Car Share & Charging to Public Housing Residents
Sacramento, Calif. – On February 14, 2023, Senate Transportation Committee Chair Senator Lena Gonzalez (D - Long Beach) teamed up with the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator (LACI) to introduce the EVs for All Act, a new bill that would fill a critical transportation gap for residents of public housing throughout California while expanding access to zero emission vehicles to more low-income Californians.
Gonzalez’s proposed legislation would direct the California Energy Commission to establish a grant program for the creation of electric vehicle sharing services, and installation of level two charging stations, at 100 public housing facilities throughout the state for the affordable use of public housing residents.
“We all know California is leading the way toward a zero emissions future, reducing pollution by decarbonizing cars, buses, trucks and heavy-duty off-road vehicles,” Senator Lena Gonzalez said. “But we also want our state to lead the way on environmental equity, bringing clean vehicles and EV charging infrastructure into communities that face a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden.”
Gonzalez’ bill was inspired in part by the real-world successes of LACI’s zero-emission car sharing community pilot projects. Two years ago, LACI launched its innovative EV car share program with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) at the Rancho San Pedro Housing development. That successful initiative was recently renewed for an additional two years given the strong demand for the service.
“LACI is determined to bring the benefits of electric vehicles and mobility to historically underserved communities,” said LACI CEO Matt Petersen. “We are proud to work with Senator Gonzalez, who shares our commitment to ensuring equity as California accelerates adoption of zero emission vehicles to meet the goals announced in Governor Newsom’s historic executive order.”
Housing advocates say that unaffordable and inaccessible transportation is a silent crisis for underserved areas of California, including communities of color and rural communities. A 2019 study showed that public housing residents face significant barriers in accessing reliable and affordable transportation of any kind.
“There are vast transit deserts in urban and rural California, areas where transportation demand is chronically far behind supply, leaving too many of our fellow residents unable to meet their basic mobility needs affordably. We applaud Senator Gonzalez and LACI for a thoughtful, innovative approach to addressing the needs of underserved communities,” said Kevin Bai, Western States Program Manager for EVNoire.
At Rancho San Pedro, EVs are available for residents to rent for $3 an hour. HACLA provided space for the cars, and LACI installed chargers for the vehicles. HACLA Community Coaches conducted outreach, enrollment and training. Residents use the cars to get to work, grocery shop, run errands, for doctor’s appointments, and to visit family.
The San Pedro site is also the location for “Good2GoBikes Powered by LACI,” a first of its kind zero-emission micro-mobility pilot, making e-bikes and e-cargo bikes available for affordable rental to Rancho San Pedro residents.
Previously, Senator Gonzalez and LACI collaborated to win passage of SB 1251 to create a Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development Office in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The bill, which was signed by Gov. Newsom, establishes the Zero-Emission Vehicle Equity Advocate, who will be appointed by the Governor. Under Gonzalez’ legislation, the equity advocates’ job is to steer development of a shared, cross-agency definition of equity, and to set an equity agenda for the deployment of light-, medium-, and heavy- duty zero-emission vehicles, the supporting infrastructure, and workforce development.
“Californians are coming together to transform transportation – to eliminate harmful emissions, and to ensure access to mobility for everyone – and to make our state a model for equitable decarbonization and energy efficiency,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez. “I am pleased to work with a partner like LACI that is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by unlocking innovation.
Senator Lena Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her family. Website of Senator Lena Gonzalez: www.sen.ca.gov/gonzalez
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders in transportation, energy, and sustainable cities, and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots, and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI Global. In the past ten years, LACI has helped 375 portfolio companies raise $697 million in funding, generated $323 million in revenue, and created 2,565 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a projected 5-year economic impact of more than $573 million. Learn more at www.laci.org.