Lawmakers in The Golden State want to encourage more consumers to purchase electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, but one critic thinks they are California dreaming.
California would spend up to $3 billion under a bill to widely expand its consumer rebate program for alternative energy vehicles. For example, rebates would go from $2,500 to $10,000 or more for a compact electric car.
The state has already forked over $450 billion in subsidies – and that's on top of misspent funds, according to California political activist Dawn Wildman. "We still have yet to see any infrastructure being repaired, replaced, renewed after bond measures to do so were passed," she adds.
Wildman is concerned this rebate plan will only make things harder on middle- to low-income taxpayers, making more and more Californians poor.
"The only people who are going to be able to actually get these rebates are those that are actually buying new cars," she continues, echoing a comment from a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who stated that it's clear "the majority of these incentives go to people who can very much afford them on their own."
Wildman continues: "And there's a lot of problems that come with ... electric cars [such as] Have you modified your home so that you can plug this thing in at your home, or do you have to go somewhere else? So the advantages are once again for the very few and not the money."
According to information from the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press, 26 million cars and trucks are registered in California. Just 315,000 are electric or plug-in hybrids.
The legislature has until September 15 to decide on the bill.