SB 551 (Stern/Hertzberg) Establishes Enhanced Coordination, Accountability, and Financing Tools To Reach California’s EV Goals
SACRAMENTO, CA — Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) have called for the creation of a California EV Authority (CEVA), a concept developed by TEP members in April 2020 to address the policies and tools needed to achieve the ambitious yet achievable regional targets by the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as accelerate the progress statewide. The creation of CEVA would include the Governor appointing an EV czar in the California Governor’s Office to advance transportation electrification and zero emissions goods movement across state agencies as well as local government and the private sector.
In response to TEP’s call for CEVA, California State Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) and Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) have introduced SB 551 to create the California EV Authority to build upon the work of the numerous state agencies, local government, labor, and the private sector by providing enhanced accountability and coordination, creating new funding and financing tools to address gaps to help finance the transition, and ensuring equity is prioritized across all programs while enhancing economic and workforce development. CEVA can also help secure the state’s recovery through the equitable deployment of EV programs in the coming years and ensure that California meets its critical zero emissions transportation and climate goals. On Tuesday, SB 551 passed its first committee with a 10-3 bi-partisan vote in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.
Achieving the goals that Governor Newsom set for California in his September 2020 Executive Order N-79-20 creates enormous potential for economic growth, job creation, and equity. These goals also represent an economy-wide transition to EVs and requires an all hands on deck approach. Given budgets are strained, new and creative financial tools are needed that build on existing funding sources. SB 551 and the creation of CEVA a set of financing tools to support the transition and economic development, including examining where existing sources of financing can be enhanced and leveraged, while identifying new sources that can be used to unlock private capital.
CEVA would prioritize equity across all investments, deployments, etc. as well as drive forth and leverage economic development and workforce development. Further, with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan that proposes $176 billion for EVs and charging, CEVA will also help California be more competitive for these federal resources when appropriated by the U.S. Congress (you can read more about TEP’s federal stimulus proposal here).