California is pulling out the stops before the state’s 2035 gas engine ban. The latest move by state officials has some aftermarket backing. KTLA reports that a bill has been proposed that would give residents $2,000 towards the price of converting their gas vehicle to an EV.
The bill was introduced by two state senators: Anthony J. Portantino (D-25) and Josh Newman (D-29) and also has the surprising sponsor of SEMA. If passed, the bill would create a rebate program called the Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project (ZACP). It would allocate $2 million annually towards the fund to provide California residents with up to $2,000 to convert their gas and diesel-engined vehicles to zero-emission vehicles.
SEMA says that it’s the future of the aftermarket industry and “preserves California’s diverse and deep-rooted car culture.” They also said it’s a way to keep classic cars running and on the road. While all of this looks great on paper, there are a couple of problems.
The first is the state’s zero-emission and EV goals. California is aiming for 35 percent of all new vehicle sales to be EV in just three years. And while it’s on its way with 285,900 BEVs purchased in the state in 2022 making up nearly 15 percent of new vehicle sales, there are still millions of gas vehicles on the road.
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The bigger elephant in the room though is the actual cost of doing an EV conversion. Right now it’s mostly a rich man’s game, with companies selling kits to convert classic vehicles. But any way you go about it it’s not cheap. On the low end, it can be done for under $20,000. But they can cost even more, especially when you get into specific parts and models. So this really could just be the start, because as of right now even if this bill passes, this is out of reach for most residents.