Thought Leadership

Campaign Launched to Boost L.A. County Electric Car Awareness

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Kelvin Liu standing next to his newly wrapped plug-in hybrid Honda Clarity

A fleet of 40 brightly colored cars is hitting the streets in parts of Los Angeles County in October in a campaign to raise awareness of driving electric vehicles (EVs). Currently, more than 174,000 EVs are registered in the county, however, most drivers are unaware of them and the rebates available for buying or leasing one. 

The L.A. Drives Electric campaign is sponsored by the statewide Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), a program of the California Air Resources Board administered by CSE. 

For the past 10 years, CVRP has contributed to the state’s goal to have 5 million electric cars by 2030 in order to reduce greenhouse gases and smog emissions that contribute to climate change and health problems. In L.A. County, CVRP has awarded more than $230,675,000 in rebates. 

“Drivers may not realize the cars they see every day are electric vehicles,” said Jonathan Changus, CSE's director of transportation programs. “We want L.A. area drivers to know that more models of electric vehicles are available than they might think, and that EVs are more affordable than they may realize.” 

L.A. County drivers in the Greater San Gabriel Valley area will see the decorative electric cars on the roads for the next three months. The cars are wrapped in a design created by L.A. artist and photographer Aldo Chacon, whose artwork is produced under the name Gooey.

“I'm extremely happy that my artwork will help raise awareness, provide information and make people more conscious of clean transportation alternatives and incentives to buy them,” Chacon said. 

One of the L.A. Drives Electric participants is Kelvin Liu of West Covina (above photo) who is a computer component sales rep. In 2019, he got a new plug-in hybrid Honda Clarity to fulfill his growing interest in trying out the latest auto technology.

Liu was eligible for a $9,500 rebate from the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Replace Your Ride program that he used as a down payment on his car. His lease is $261 a month, but by factoring in $3,500 from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and $1,000 from Southern California Edison’s Clean Fuel Reward Program over the term of the lease, his monthly out-of-pocket cost is equivalent to about $132. 

CVRP makes it easy to switch to an electric vehicle by offering rebates of up to $5,000 per vehicle, with an additional $2,000 for residents with low-to-moderate incomes. Rebates are available for more than 30 EV models. Various utilities, local agencies and the federal government also offer incentives for electric cars and home charging equipment. 

CVRP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.