Four Becomes Two: California Will Now Fund Your Transition From Car to Bike

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
four becomes two california will now fund your transition from car to bike

California wants that ’84 Olds Eighty-Eight gone, stat. In its place, a citizen of limited means can apply for disposal funding and the (partial) means of replacing it with a cleaner car, or opt instead for a transit pass or car-sharing membership. Now, the state Senate has amended earlier legislation to include more “mobility.”

The Clean Cars 4 All Program, administered by the California Air Resources Board, will now fork it over to get you on some sort of bike.

Earlier this month, the upper house passed Senate Bill No. 400 to amend the state’s Health and Safety Code with updated language about green transportation options. That impacts what low-income residents can apply for under the clean car program once their gas-guzzling jalopy disappears from the laneway.

The amendment focuses on the term “mobility option” as listen in the Scrap and Replace program options. Whereas before, low-income residents living in participating districts who meet certain requirements could gain $4,500 towards the purchase of a vehicle that gets either 35 mpg combined or comes with a plug (be it a plug-in hybrid or EV), they could also opt for a non-ownership solution. Transit and ride-sharing, basically.

Now, the updated language means eligible residents who scrap their old vehicle can receive replacement funds or a voucher for “public transit, car sharing, bike sharing, or electric bicycles.”

If they’re in the Bay Area, those options include Ford’s GoBike service or perhaps the purchase of a Ford Super Cruiser, which is an actual electric bike marketed by Ford. Maybe they could look at General Motors’ “ARĪV” e-bike, which is also a thing. This is where we’re headed and will continue doing so, at least until automakers discover it’s not worth the effort.

Program participants will no doubt be dismayed to find there’s no Rambike offered by Fiat Chrysler, but give it time.

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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3 of 44 comments
  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Sep 17, 2019

    Pity the Elio has never materialized, with those kinds of state incentives the three-wheeler seems like it would be almost within reach for many folks if it would fit their use case.

    • HotPotato HotPotato on Sep 18, 2019

      One of our favorite California eccentrics, Storm Sondors -- best known for slashing the price of entry for e-bikes -- is now trying to do the same for electric cars with a vehicle that is, essentially, an electric sports-Elio. I doubt it will ever see production, but it would be interesting.

  • -Nate -Nate on Sep 17, 2019

    Well shit ; I live in Los Angeles (one of my addresses) and I never heard one word about this . ? Could I trade in my dead Morris Minor for a Motocycle perhaps ?. No free transit passes here . Anyone whi thinks California id commiland has obviously never been here ~ as soon as you leave the three big cities it's as white and red neck as you can get . -Nate

  • Cprescott Coupe?
  • Cprescott Briben knows who finances his campaign.
  • SCE to AUX Good summary of the circus, Matt.The UAW members should see this as typical uniparty pandering - nothing more. As I said before, no President should be visiting a picket line.They should also realize that their jobs depend more on their employers than the government.UAW jobs were evaporating long before modern EVs came around. Ironically, more EVs are built by non-union workers, anyway, because the UAW's employers can't figure out how to scale up. Tesla already employs about 2/3 as many people as Ford or GM.
  • Parkave231 Something's fishy here.
  • Kcflyer I should have said clowns, plural. I guess the only difference between Trump and Biden going to Michigan is that Trump will know that he is in Michigan.