No Californian Left Behind Part 2
Our previous publication, No Californian Left Behind: Clean and Affordable Transportation for All, contended that California’s vehicle retirement and replacement program should be revamped to provide greater climate and air quality benefits for low-income Californians. Specifically, we argued that the program, known as the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP), should include higher efficiency requirements for all replacement vehicles – enabling the EFMP to capture the co-benefits of greenhouse gas reduction and fuel savings for program participants. While squarely locating the EFMP in the overall California climate policy debate, this recommendation also prompted two important questions from policymakers and media alike: are efficient vehicles affordable for low-income Californians, and are these vehicles readily available on California’s auto market?
We address both questions in this follow-on report. Our conclusion: robust minimum efficiency standards are key to maximizing the benefits of EFMP vehicle replacement, and more than enough affordable vehicles are available on California’s auto market to make such standards reasonable.