The City of Los Angeles and its community partners have been awarded a $1.6 million grant by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for a pilot project that provides electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing options in low-income communities.
During an event held Friday at MPM Apartments, an affordable housing development in MacArthur Park, residents, community groups, city and state officials celebrated the new program.
According to a press release from State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, the program aims to increase access to advanced technology and reduce carbon emissions and petroleum use in one of the U.S.' most polluted cities.
“Fighting smog and climate change so that our kids can breathe clean air requires more transportation options that don't rely on dirty fossil fuels,” said De Leon. “This electric car-sharing pilot project offers a glimpse of the future, and represents the type of shift in policy, infrastructure and behavior that we need.”
In his release, de Leon said the pilot was made possible by two bills the senator had authored: S.B.1275, which created the Charge Ahead initiative, and S.B.535, which directs CARB to invest cap-and-trade revenue in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by climate change and poor environmental quality.
According to a fact sheet, the L.A. Mayor's Office of Sustainability applied for the grant, and the pilot program will introduce a car-sharing fleet of 100 EVs serving an estimated 7,000 users, as well as install 110 Level 2 EV charging units. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will provide support for the EV infrastructure.
Other pilot goals include educating residents about car sharing and transportation alternatives and helping avoid the purchase of 1,000 private internal combustion engine vehicles.
“Our EV car-sharing pilot is a perfect example of how our state's cap-and-trade dollars should be put to work: providing transportation options for Angelenos in need, and helping us achieve our clean air goals outlined in my Sustainable City plan,’ said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols added, “Once again, California is putting its money where its mouth is – by making the cleanest cars available in neighborhoods and communities where they are most needed.’