State of the Zero-Emission Vehicle Secondary Market and Accessibility Impacts in California’s Underserved Communities
7/19: The reopened solicitation does NOT include this project.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) implements light-duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations and incentive programs with the goal of increasing ZEV deployment to meet California air quality and climate change goals and ensure equitable access to clean vehicles for all Californians. Used vehicles make up two-thirds of the vehicles purchased, making the secondary ZEV market an important component of the state’s ZEV deployment and retention efforts. The objectives of this study are to 1) understand social demographics and motivations of consumers that purchase used ZEVs, 2) understand used ZEV movement across state lines, 3) examine the impact of CARB’s light-duty ZEV incentive programs on the used ZEV market, and 4) assess to what extent the secondary ZEV market is increasing access to clean mobility in California’s underserved communities. The results of this research study will inform CARB’s related light-duty ZEV incentives and regulations with the goal of expanding access to ZEVs in underserved communities.
The new passenger zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) market has grown tremendously in the last dozen years with roughly one million ZEVs sold cumulatively in California. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20, which calls for 100 percent of the in-state sales of new passenger vehicles to be zero emission by 2035, is expected to continue the new ZEV sales momentum. However, only about one-third of California households purchase new vehicles and therefore, the secondary ZEV market is important to achieving the state’s climate and air quality goals. California’s secondary market for passenger ZEVs continues to rapidly grow but its maturity and size lags a few years behind that of new ZEVs.
In 2018, a CARB-funded study examined the nascent secondary ZEV market in California, examining who purchased these vehicles and how they were used from 2011 to 2015. Given the ZEV market growth since that period, there is a need to take another look at the more developed secondary market to understand the barriers and opportunities that underserved communities face in purchasing used ZEVs. This study will examine the impact that purchase incentives for new and used ZEVs within California are having on the secondary ZEV market as it matures and to what extent used ZEVs are expanding equitable access to clean transportation.
The results of this research study will inform CARB’s light-duty ZEV regulations (e.g., Advanced Clean Cars II) and vehicle purchase incentive programs such as the Clean Cars 4 All program, Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), Financing Assistance for Lower-Income Consumers program, and California’s ZEV infrastructure programs.
III. Scope of Work
Task 1 – Assemble Project Advisory Committee
In collaboration with the Contract Manager, the Contractor will assemble a Project Advisory Committee made of public agency staff, equity advocates and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the project outcomes are able to inform program needs including advising on primary data collection and analysis, policy recommendations, and final deliverables.
Members should be from a broad array of community-based advocacy groups, but not limited to only those with a transportation focus, in regions throughout the state to ensure that different populations’ needs are represented in the research project and that policy recommendations generated by the research are appropriate and feasible.
Committee membership should reflect a diversity of geographic regions, urban forms, and races/ethnicities. Community-based advisory committee members should be compensated for their participation.
Task 2 – Literature Review
Conduct a literature review on existing research on the used ZEV market that clearly identifies how the Contractor will expand on the current literature. A draft literature review should be completed before beginning Task 3.
Task 3 – Understand Used ZEV Consumers
This Task examines the characteristics of used ZEV consumers in California to assess whether the secondary market is expanding access to clean vehicles to undeserved communities through a new data collection effort. Additionally, this task examines the motivations and satisfaction of used ZEV consumers and how these vehicles are being used. Finally, this task aims to understand the impact of equity-focused light-duty vehicle incentives on ZEV access for lower-income consumers and underserved communities.
Subtask 3A: Finalize Data Collection Methodology
- The Contractor will propose a detailed data collection method to be responsive to this objective, including an explanation as to why the method proposed is the best method to reach the desired populations and what statistical methods will be utilized to analyze the data. The Contractor will submit a pre-analysis plan (PAP) to CARB prior to data collection and analysis.
- In consultation with the Project Advisory Committee, the Contractor will refine the methodology that will be able to identify existing datasets or collect new data (for example, via survey, focus group, and interviews) from residents of underserved communities throughout the state to fulfill study objectives. Examples of data to be collected include socioeconomic, demographic, and attitudinal data on used ZEV buyers, their motivations and hesitations behind their purchase decisions, potential barriers that may exist, their knowledge of ZEV incentive programs, and how these incentives could motivate consumer behavior. The contractor should ensure that data are collected from non-English speakers as well as coordinated with data collected from other CARB programs or research projects to allow for valid comparisons (for example, Clean Cars 4 All, Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and Financing Assistance for Lower-Income Consumers program).
- The contractor should pilot data collection methods as appropriate to ensure clarity of questions, cleanliness of data collected, and assess time burden to the participants.
- Modify data collection methods as needed based on pilot test.
Subtask 3B: Collect Data
After finalizing the data collection methodology from Subtask 2A, the Contractor will implement the data collection plan in underserved communities throughout the state. Respondents should span different geographic regions of the state as well as different types of regions (e.g., urban, suburban, rural). The contractor may enlist community organizations to assist with data collection from a broad array of community members. Additionally, the contractor should seek out respondents who may not have internet access.
Subtask 3C: Analyze Data
The Contractor will follow the methodology identified in the pre-analysis plan to conduct data analysis. The contractor will analyze the collected data to understand the social demographics of secondary ZEV market participants as well as their motivations, barriers to participation, knowledge of ZEV incentive programs, and analyze what consumers would do in the absence of incentives. The Contractor may also use other currently existing data sets in this analysis.
Task 4 – Understand Used ZEV Movement Across State Lines
Using appropriate data sources and methodology, the Contractor will analyze the movement or “leakage” of used ZEVs out of California to other states over time. This task will quantify the movement of ZEVs across state lines and will explore how ZEV incentives and other factors contribute to these vehicles crossing state lines.
Task 5 – Policy Recommendations
Based on the results of Tasks 2-4 and in consultation with CARB program staff and the Project Advisory Committee, Task 5 will develop policy recommendations on how study results can be used to improve existing ZEV regulations and incentive programs to expand ZEV access to underserved communities. Additionally, the Contractor may inform new programs or outreach efforts based on their findings to expand ZEV access.
Task 6 – Reports
The project will conclude with the preparation of two reports. An interim report shall be completed soon after all data has been collected with a summary of high-level results. The interim report will be presented to the Advisory Committee to help guide further data analysis to ensure that the final report include relevant policy recommendations. The final report will document all methodologies, data analysis, and processes employed in the completion of the research and include a plain-language summary of policy recommendations.
The project pre-proposal must include but is not limited to the following deliverables:
At Pre-Proposal Stage
- Provide a cultural competency statement in the pre-proposal.
At Beginning of Contract
- All researchers must undergo cultural competency training (examples include implicit bias training, racial equity training, etc.). Trainings should be completed or scheduled within 30 days of contract execution.
- Work with CARB staff at the beginning of the project to create a 1-page plain-language outreach deliverable for the public describing the project’s goals, process, and planned deliverables (available in multiple languages, template will be provided).
During Active Contract Period
- Quarterly Progress Reports including public-facing updates to be posted to CARB’s website.
- Quarterly Progress Meetings.
- Informal monthly progress update meetings with CARB contract manager.
Prior to Contract Close
- Draft and Final Literature Review.
- Draft final report.
- Final Report.
- Seminar presenting summary of results.
- Presentation summarizing findings at community meeting(s) or workshop(s).
- Draft and Final 2-page project summary for public outreach.
- All data, analyses and analytical tools generated through the course of this project.
- Peer reviewed publications should be publicly available (please budget for this expense; submission-ready publications shall be reviewed by CARB staff).
Additional deliverables to be determined in consultation with CARB staff.
It is anticipated this project will be completed in 24 months from the start date (start date is estimated to be in Spring 2023). The estimated budget for this project is up to $500,000.
VI. Scoring Criteria
- Responsiveness to the goals and objectives outlined in the pre-proposal solicitation (20 points)
The pre-proposal should explain—in adequate detail and clear, understandable language—how the proposed project satisfies the project objectives: enhance CARB’s understanding of the 1) social demographics and motivations of used ZEV market participants, barriers and concerns participants face, and knowledge of incentive programs; 2) movement or “leakage” of used ZEVs out of California to other states and the reasons for this occurrence; and 3) impact of ZEV incentives on the used ZEV market.
- Policy relevance/benefits to the state (10 points)
The pre-proposal should explain how the proposed project is relevant to and provides benefits to the state. Reviewers will assess if the pre-proposal describes how the project will provide data, information, and/or products to CARB, and how those project outputs will help CARB accomplish its mission. Findings from this research will help CARB, other state agencies, local communities, and community-based organizations support ongoing and future efforts to bring zero-emission and other sustainable mobility options to residents living in low-income and disadvantaged communities. This work supports Assembly Bill 32, existing regulatory efforts (such as Advanced Clean Cars II), complementary programs (such as Clean Cars 4 All, Clean Vehicles Rebate Project, and Financing Assistance for Lower-Income Consumers program), Senate Bill 350, Senate Bill 1000, and general state efforts to address both transportation equity, climate change, and air quality statewide.
- Work experience and subject matter expertise (20 points)
- The pre-proposal should demonstrate that the proposers have the work experience or subject matter expertise required to successfully carry out the proposed project as described. Additionally, the pre-proposal should describe how the project will build upon previous relevant work that was funded by CARB, other regional, state, and federal agencies. The proposers should have knowledge of ZEV technologies and other innovative mobility options, as well as an understating of the common barriers in access to clean transportation as identified from prior research.
- If the proposer has experience with community-based engagement approaches, the pre-proposal should describe this prior work, provide letters of support or references, and/or describe how this prior work has impacted communities. Regardless of prior experience with community engagement, the pre-proposal should describe how the team will meaningfully engage the community in the execution of the proposed project.
- Expanding expertise (10 points)
The pre-proposal should explain how the project team expands expertise such as by incorporating multidisciplinary expertise or perspectives, including members come from various public universities, non-academic institutions, or community-based organizations, or providing opportunities to build skills and expertise for individuals from underrepresented groups. Reviewers will consider if key personnel contributing significantly to the project (i.e., a principal investigator, co-principal investigator or co-investigator, contributing 25 percent or more of their time to the project) have not worked with CARB in the past five years.
- Explanation of technical or methodological approach (20 points)
The pre-proposal should clearly explain the logic and feasibility of the methodology and technical approach to the project, spell out the sequence and relationships of major tasks, and explain methods for performing the work. The pre-proposal should include a clear description and plan for how each task will be completed. The proposer should specify why the methodology proposed is the best method to reach the desired populations.
- Level and quality of effort and cost effectiveness (20 points)
The pre-proposal should describe how time and resources will be allocated and demonstrate how this allocation ensures the project’s success. Pre-proposal reviewers will evaluate, for example: if the objectives of the project can be met given this allocation, if there is adequate supervision and oversight to ensure that the project will remain on schedule, if time and cost are appropriately divvied up across different project tasks and stages, detail provided on compensation for advisory committee members, etc.