Research led by UC-Berkeley finds disadvantaged communities received just 7 percent of California’s EV incentives between 2010 and 2021, and saw smaller reductions in roadway-related pollution – or in some cases even more roadway pollution – compared to more affluent communities. Wealthier Californians have enjoyed progressively cleaner air over the decade that was studied while disadvantaged communities felt their air quality worsen, even as EVs were being adopted across the state.
“Emissions may decrease in some locations and increase in others, with implications for equity,” wrote the study authors, who also warned that if the current distribution of EV rebates continues, these inequities will remain. In 2016, California put an income cap on its EV rebate program, but the researchers found that measure had a marginal impact on the equitable distribution of EV incentives.(The Hill, NewScientist $, Bloomberg $)