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Michelle Kinman,
Environment California

Charge Ahead California Electric Vehicle Ride-and-Drive at the Fillmore Summerfest Kick-off: Grillin' in the 'Mo

For Immediate Release

San Francisco, CA – Fillmore community members came out today to learn about how electric vehicles can reduce air pollution, combat global warming, improve health and save working families money. Everyone—from children to senior citizens—is impacted by air pollution. Today’s event offered activities for all age groups, with children coloring pictures of clean electric cars to adults test driving electric vehicles.

The electric vehicle ride-and-drive was organized by Environment California Research & Policy Center in conjunction with the Fillmore Summerfest Kick-off: Grillin' in the ‘Mo, a free community blues concert and family BBQ produced by The Village Project in collaboration with the Bayview Y, to celebrate the start of summer events in the Fillmore District. The test drives provided community members with a first-time opportunity to get behind the wheel an electric car, learn about rebate, loan and financing options, and to envision a clean air future for San Francisco.

“While air pollution and global warming have many Californians singing the blues, today’s event demonstrated that San Franciscans want to lead the clean vehicle revolution,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center.

“San Francisco neighborhoods like the Fillmore can rapidly move to clean electric vehicles and a clean air future, all while saving money at the pump,” said Derick Brown, Senior Advisor/Director of Neighborhood Services for the Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Thanks to Environment California Research & Policy Center for providing helpful resources on electric vehicle incentives to our community members this past weekend, and thanks to the local dealerships who came to Grillin' in the 'Mo and offered free electric vehicle test drives to the community.”

Today’s event introduced Fillmore residents to a variety of Air Resource Board (ARB) programs designed to make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible to low- and moderate-income communities. One such program provides Californians who qualify as low-income with increased rebate amounts to purchase or lease electric vehicles. Another program that is being piloted in six Bay area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, San Francisco) provides financial assistance (price buy-down grants and loans) opportunities to enable consumers with little or no credit history to purchase advanced technology vehicles.

These were made possible in large part by the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275, 2014), a law authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leόn, that works to get one million electric vehicles on California roads by 2023 by ensuring that low-income Californians and communities of color are benefitting from the transition to zero-tailpipe emissions. The goal is to ensure that all Californians benefit from rapidly transitioning to electric cars that will clean our air, reduce our dependence on oil, and combat global warming.

In addition, the ARB and the Bay Air Quality Management District are planning to expand the state’s successful vehicle retirement and replacement pilot program to the Bay Area over the course of the next year. Under this program, low and moderate-income Californians can retire an older, high polluting vehicle and receive up to $9500 in incentives to purchase a new or used electric vehicle.

For more information on California’s electric vehicle programs, please visit: