ZEV Equity Task Force - Summary of Breakout Groups and Projects
The objective of the Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Equity Task Force is to accelerate deployment of ZEVs, other zero-emission mobility options, and charging infrastructure in low-income and disadvantaged communities across the state. The Task Force accomplishes this by supporting the development of partnerships among interested parties who work together on ideas the ZEV Equity Task Force collectively agrees are valuable and achievable. To facilitate that objective, during the May 30th kick-off meeting, participants were placed in one of four breakout groups reflecting different policy domains to identify and prioritize ideas to work on together.
This document summarizes the main project ideas that emerged during the kick-off meeting of the ZEV Equity Task Force and immediate next steps for each idea. The level of engagement and discussion in each group was energizing. It was clear that more discussion and additional feedback on organizations and individuals that need to be included would be valuable to fully flesh out and prioritize the most actionable ideas. Accordingly, we will be forming workgroups with interested participants to continue thinking through ideas that were brought up during the discussion and advance some of the projects outlined below. Initially, four workgroups have been identified as places to have these discussions:
- Clean Mobility Projects and Incentives
- Outreach and Education
- Workforce Development.
The structure of the workgroups will be determined based on post-survey results and participant feedback. These workgroups will also be a place for participants to propose and champion new projects. As these groups are formed, we want to ensure that the conversation is focused on how equity will be centered in the goals of the projects and that we keep equity in mind when helping to strategize solutions to the barriers surrounding access to ZEVs and zero-emission mobility.
Project Idea: Subsidize electric fuel/statewide electric vehicle (EV) charging card
The vision is that all residents can access mobility and fueling services through a universal card, accessed through a single platform. Participants are interested in thinking through how to have one type of interoperable mobility card that interacts with all the transportation systems in California. Additionally, lower-income residents should receive subsidized EV refueling/charging through a statewide program that is integrated in the common platform.
Next Steps: Participants noted that there are multiple existing efforts already occurring in this area and that in order to think through where there are potential gaps participants need more information. California Air Resource Board (CARB) staff will reach out to potential existing venues/partners and provide more information on current EV charging card efforts to participants of the Infrastructure workgroup in order to help refine this project idea.
Project Idea: Create blueprint/business model to scale up investment in infrastructure and community-driven process for siting charging stations
What is a business model to attract the level of investment needed to sustain an equivalent and appropriate volume of chargers within a certain community? The first step when planning to procure/install charging infrastructure should be to reach out to community members to ensure equitable access. However, there is currently a mismatch between community needs and resources available. How do we get charging deployed to serve disadvantaged communities that is reliable and affordable? How much charging do we need to build and where?
Next Steps: The Infrastructure workgroup will begin to think through a business model to attract a level of investment to sustain the volume of chargers necessary in a certain community. In order to do this, the Infrastructure workgroup will begin to develop a pilot project that creates a business model project to scale up infrastructure. This workgroup will also investigate processes to coordinate information sharing about currently available funding and specific communities’ needs with respect to charging infrastructure. Initial ideas that need further discussion include a state portal (could CARB/CEC lead a process to filter projects and funds for the community) or some sort of hand raising tool (including safety concerns, reliability, and customer experience included in a tool) to collect charging sites.
Clean Mobility Projects and Incentives Workgroup
Based on participant feedback, a combined workgroup will be created for Clean Mobility Projects and Incentives moving forward.
Project Idea: Consolidate the statewide vehicle needs for community mobility programs on an annual basis and leverage off-lease vehicles
This project would think about how to consolidate the vehicle needs for different smaller-scale, community mobility programs. The vehicle types needed would be determined by the community projects on an annual basis. There would be a single entity that would either buy or lease all the vehicles or coordinate the purchase of the vehicles. This could help smaller mobility programs access cheaper vehicles through efficiency of scale and discounts and could help less-resourced entities (e.g., CBOs) access vehicles. Leasing the vehicles might be more cost-effective for lower-use services and could help maximize the use of the vehicles. This project would think through the idea of selling off-lease vehicles for use in community projects. But before this can move forward, there are some inherent challenges with carshare/rideshare (particularly the longevity and financial sustainability of services) that need to be addressed.
Next Steps: CARB staff will reach out to existing mobility services to understand what exists today and what their future vehicle needs might be and report back to the Clean Mobility Projects and Incentives workgroup in order to help the group understand how existing programs could help facilitate this project. Participants of the Clean Mobility Projects and Incentives workgroup would begin to think through what the problems/gaps are and how to facilitate meeting those gaps. Participants will also explore ways to make mobility services more financially sustainable and expand and scale existing projects.
Project Idea: Create a coalition to develop a ridesharing pilot program
This project would begin to think through what it would look like to create a practical pilot through a ride-hailing or ridesharing project in a community. This type of pilot could help people who don’t drive get access to zero-emission vehicles and expand their mobility options. Participants would need to define what ridesharing versus ride-hailing is. Ride-hailing (as opposed to ridesharing) may be more necessary in rural areas where public transit isn’t as frequent or where, because of a lack of density, shared rides are less feasible.
Next Steps: The Clean Mobility Projects and Incentives workgroup will think through what it would look like to create a pilot project in a specific community. In order to proceed with this project, more information is needed, including champions and participation from a transportation network company (TNC).
Project Idea: Integrate vehicle incentives and financing programs with cars ready to purchase
This project would involve looking at ways to streamline the purchase process for low-income consumers by working with dealerships to have ready-made packages of cars/financing for qualifying individuals so they would just come sign the paperwork.
Next Steps: Get interested parties together to continue the conversation and determine if there is a way to do a pilot program through either the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 Clean Transportation Incentives Funding Plan Development Process or the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
Project Ideas: Address problems with federal tax refundability so that low-income consumers can benefit from the federal tax credit and streamline incentive and rebate requirements
Next Steps: Conversations on these ideas will occur through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 Clean Transportation Incentives Funding Plan Development Process. The Funding Plan serves as the blueprint for expending the Clean Transportation Incentives funds appropriated to CARB in the State budget.
Workforce Development Workgroup
Project Idea: Connect automakers with community groups for workforce development
There was interest in connecting car manufacturers with organizations and agencies that help people gain job skills. The goal was to find ways to make the car manufacturers’ training programs available to more people.
Next Steps: Create a Workforce Development workgroup. This group would start by having the different state agencies and workgroup participants share what they are already doing in this area. Once the group understands the workforce development landscape for ZEVs and ZEV infrastructure they would determine their goals and who else should be included.
Outreach and Education Workgroup
Project Ideas: Scale effective outreach strategies tailored to specific communities, consolidate consumer websites, create consistent resources and training for incentive program administrators
Several ideas were discussed under the outreach and education topic. One included the creation of online training tools and resources for incentive program administrators so that all the program administrators understand ZEVs, ZEV infrastructure, and the different incentives available to consumers at the federal, state, and local levels. Another idea involved exploring ways to make web content more consistent by using shared data on the backend. The group also talked about how to facilitate connections between automakers and community-based organizations to enhance communication about incentives, vehicles, and infrastructure in communities. Lastly, educating used car dealers about ZEVs was also brought up as a potential area to explore.
Next Steps: Create an Outreach & Education workgroup to determine what near-term strategies from those listed above should be tackled first to make the most impact in this area.