As part of GRID’s vision for a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone, we believe that the widespread adoption of clean transportation options is a ray of sunshine for California’s future. Low-income families in the US spend approximately $75-$78 billion every year on gasoline. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution from both gasoline consumption and gasoline production.
Electric vehicles (EV) have been shown to save drivers thousands of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs. Of course, EVs can have a high upfront cost that is a barrier for people like Veronica, a Sacramento State University student who drove a gas-guzzling 1998 Honda Accord that was on the verge of breaking down.
“I knew it was going to give out on me soon and I was dreading it… I was out of work until mid-October because of the pandemic and wouldn’t have been able to afford a new car,“ she said.
Luckily, Veronica was able to purchase a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) this fall through the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District’s Clean Cars 4 All program, for which GRID is contracted to provide Case Management services.
The program helps income-qualified Sacramento County residents scrap their older, high-polluting car and replace it with a zero- or near-zero emission car OR go “car-free” (Coming in 2021) with car and bike-sharing, public transit, or an e-bike. By pairing electric vehicles and other modes of transportation with solar power, GRID Alternatives is helping families replace gasoline with sunshine, saving them money and replacing local air pollution with clean energy.
“It’s been a blessing,” said Courtny (pictured above), another Sac Metro Air District Clean Cars 4 All grantee who recently purchased a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid plug-in. “Knowing that I can just get up, warm up my car, and go to work, you know, go handle my business. Not having that feeling in the back of your mind like, ‘is something going to break down?’ It’s a relief.”
Statewide, GRID Alternatives has an important role in a partnership helping to launch Access Clean California initiatives that'll enhance life for all of us—particularly disadvantaged communities. Access Clean California connects residents with California’s clean energy and transportation equity programs, including grants and rebates for new and used hybrid and electric vehicles, transit vouchers, and shared mobility, as well as no-cost rooftop solar power.
Looking forward, we hope to incorporate clean mobility priorities into additional priorities and workforce development initiatives.