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

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]

Join the conversation
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

  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
  • FreedMike How about the “Aztek” package? Wait, this car already has that…Said it before and I’ll say it again: they need to restyle the hind end on this car, stat.