California EV Conversion Bill Doesn’t Quite Seem Fair

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California EV Conversion Bill Doesn’t Quite Seem Fair
California EV Conversion Bill Doesn’t Quite Seem Fair

Recently, the California legislature passed a bill which uses taxpayer dollars to incentivize the conversion of existing internal combustion engine vehicles to EVs. Some are celebrating what likely will be signed into law by Governor Newsom, but we’re not so excited.

Violent street takeovers rock California cities over the weekend.

Originally, SB 301 was written so private citizens converting their ICE car to an EV would get at least $2,000 for the effort. That was changed so people can get up to $4,000. After all, EV conversions aren’t exactly cheap and we don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.


And that’s the rub. These conversions are often being done by wealthy people. Can they not cough up the extra $4,000? Does the struggling single mom, the retired couple on a fixed income, the working class family of six need to help finance the playthings of the rich?

Well, the answer in the past has been yes. After all, the federal government and plenty of states were handing out tax incentives for anyone buying a new EV. It was well known at the time that the vast majority of people snatching up Teslas and such were some of the highest earners in society.

And yet people were cheering about this bill making EV conversions more accessible for Californians in general. Hilarious.

It’s true that people in higher income brackets pay a higher tax rate. But does that justify financing their EV conversions? From what we’ve seen, there’s been little to no discussion about this. Instead, the focus has been on climate change and air pollution. Hobby cars pollute little because they’re driven little, so that’s a silly focal point.

What we also take issue with is ruining the historicity of classic cars. We know purists can be annoyingly pedantic, but we can’t help wonder how many engines from historically significant vehicles will be trashed as a result of this upcoming law. A similar thing happened with Cash For Clunkers, with a result which wasn’t what was promised.

But those who stand to benefit from this – companies which sell EV conversions – are all excited. They stand to see an upswing in business, all thanks to a little help from taxpayers. It just doesn’t sit well with us at all, and for the record neither do oil company subsidies or others.

Image via EV4U Custom Conversions/Facebook

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