SAN PEDRO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Congresswoman Nanette Díaz Barragán (CA-44), author of the EVs For All Act (HR 6662) that would provide residents of 50 public housing projects nationwide with access to zero emission cars and charging infrastructure (alt. stations), joined San Pedro constituents and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) President & CEO Matt Petersen to see first-hand the innovative EV car-sharing program that inspired her legislation, and to advocate that everyone, regardless of income, must be included in the electric vehicle transformation.
During Rep. Barragán’s and Petersen’s tour of the Rancho San Pedro EV Car Share Program, they spoke to residents about air quality and transportation issues they face, and how the successful pilot program developed by LACI facilitates residents’ mobility and helps them cope with high gas prices. LACI created the EV Car Share pilot to find ways to increase equitable access to EVs and charging while accelerating progress toward their Transportation Electrification Partnership’s targets to achieve by the 2028 Olympics, including getting 30% of the cars on the road across LA county to be EVs and 40% of the drayage trucks serving ports to be zero emissions
“My constituents in Rancho San Pedro public housing are overwhelmingly burdened by toxic air pollution due to their proximity to the Port of Los Angeles, oil refineries, and transportation corridors with heavy truck traffic,” Congresswoman Barragán said. “We know the future is zero emissions, but without the right investments, low-income communities are at risk of being left behind. This community deserves clean air and affordable zero emission transportation options that will also result in more clean vehicles on the roads in their community.”
“Many communities of color face disproportionate air pollution yet completely lack access to EV charging infrastructure or electric vehicles,” said Matt Petersen, LACI’s CEO. “To achieve the Biden Administration’s commitment to Justice40, we need to scale models like LACI’s EV car share pilot that brings EVs and charging to disadvantaged communities. I am proud that Rep. Barragán’s EVs for All legislation is modeled on LACI’s pilot we created with and for the residents of Rancho San Pedro.”
The EVs for All Act, H.R. 6662, would authorize up to $50 million in annual appropriations from 2022-2031 for a new grant program with the Department of Energy in coordination with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill would help public housing authorities and local governments invest in electric vehicles (EV), EV charging stations, community education and outreach, and other services and incentives to provide access to EVs in underserved communities.
H.R. 6662 is aligned with the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative, a commitment to invest 40% of the federal government’s investments in climate and clean energy in disadvantaged communities.
The Rancho San Pedro EV Car Share is a 12-month pilot program created by LACI in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), Envoy and Nissan. The program, which has now been extended indefinitely by HACLA and to which LACI will soon add an e-bike share, provides two EVs for residents to rent for $3 an hour, along with dedicated spaces for charging, and access to HACLA Community Coaches who conducted outreach, enrollment and training. Residents use these cars to get to work, grocery shop, run errands, for doctors appointments, and to visit family.
At the news conference, residents told the dignitaries and media that having access to the shareable EVs has made their lives easier.
Beatriz Mendez, a driver user of LACI’s EV Car Share pilot at Rancho San Pedro says, “I was the first one at Rancho San Pedro to try the EV and I was amazed at how efficient it was to use it to go to the doctor and go shopping, to be able to drop the kids off at school. We need to make sure something like this is available nationwide.” She went on to share, “We are very mindful of the impact of climate change and pollution from the ports and refineries. So every time I used the EV, I was very aware of how this was bringing a healthier and more sustainable option for me and for the community around here. I’m really happy about that.”
“The combined efforts of our community coaches have led the drivers of Rancho San Pedro to embrace the idea of electric cars. Residents now understand and appreciate that having these zero emission solutions reduce pollution in their community. It’s both affordable and convenient as well. The Housing Authority and the residents of Rancho San Pedro are very fortunate to have this program here and we look forward to the opportunity to expand it,” added Margarita Lares, Chief Programs Officer for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), and LACI EV Car Share Pilot partner.
LACI is accelerating transportation electrification in the Los Angeles region through pilots and policy, as well as incubating startups and training individuals to join the green workforce. Barragán’s office worked closely with LACI to develop the legislation.
“The success of our clean energy future requires that every resident, regardless of income, is included in the electric vehicle transformation,” Congresswoman Barragán said. “The EVs for All Act would provide resources for low-income residents in my district and around the country that are often left out of climate solutions. Congress must lead the way in ensuring that everyone has access to electric vehicles and clean air, including people who can’t afford to own a car.”
About LACI: The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through helping scale cleantech startups, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships like the Transportation Electrification Partnership, and enhancing communities through green jobs workforce training and pilots. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP) in 2011, LACI is recognized as one of the top 10 innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. To date, LACI has supported 315 startup companies that have secured more than $695 million in funding, generated more than $308 million in revenue, and helped to create an estimated 2,480 jobs with a long-term projected economic impact of more than $555 million.