Electrify America is investing $3 million to provide education and awareness programs for low-income and disadvantaged communities throughout California on the benefits of driving zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and available cash incentives.
The recent announcement brings Electrify America’s total investment in California community-based programs to $5.7 million over the past two years, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to promote ZEV adoption throughout the state. The investment will provide support for six California-based organizations as they raise awareness on the benefits of driving ZEVs, while working to get more drivers behind the wheel of electric vehicles.
Investment in California community-based organizations is just one component of the company’s broader commitment to low-income and disadvantaged communities. In 2019, Electrify America invested a total of $82.4 million in these California communities by providing education, access, charging infrastructure and services to promote ZEV driving, including $10 million in education and marketing.
“It’s our goal to expand awareness of clean and sustainable transportation options that are accessible and affordable to Californians,” said Will Berry, social responsibility manager, Electrify America. “Low-income and disadvantaged communities have access to an incredibly complex set of incentives and resources, and we are proud to support trusted community groups that have a proven track record of providing the assistance necessary adopt zero emission vehicles.”
More than 100 non-profit, private and public entities from across California were invited to submit proposals to support brand-neutral ZEV education and awareness in disadvantaged and low-income communities. The six recipients of Electrify America’s investment are:
- Breathe Southern California
- Central California Asthma Collaborative
- Drive Clean Bay Area
- Ecology Action
- Liberty Hill Foundation
- Valley Clean Air Now
The organizations’ programs will highlight how ZEVs today can meet many different consumer needs and provide awareness regarding the economics of driving a zero-emission vehicle. Considerable evidence demonstrates that there is a significant gap between the perceived and actual affordability of ZEVs in California, presenting a meaningful opportunity for effective, targeted educational efforts.
Additional information on the selected California-based organizations and the campaigns that Electrify America will support includes:
- Breathe Southern California (Breathe SoCal): Breathe SoCal (formerly BREATHE LA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes clean air and healthy lungs through education, research, technology and advocacy. Breathe SoCal will collaborate with Plug In America (PIA), together offering programs to show the powerful benefits of driving electric by providing ZEV Ride and Drive events among low-income and disadvantaged populations in greater Los Angeles County, San Bernardino and Riverside County areas. Breathe SoCal and PIA will implement a three-part strategy including identification of the ZEV target audience, virtual and direct educational contact through featured events and digital reach/messaging reinforcement.
- Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC): CCAC’s mission is to provide education and direct services, build regional capacity and advocate for sensible policies that improve health and address inequities by reducing environmental impacts and emphasizing the prevention and management of chronic disease. CCAC will leverage its existing ZEV outreach assets to increase engagement with low-income and disadvantaged residents across the San Joaquin Valley, including coordination of the Clean Vehicle Empowerment Collaborative (CVEC), a group of eight community-based organizations who serve as trusted messengers in disadvantaged Valley communities. This grant will also support the development of an EV Navigator program, providing residents one-on-one assistance with ZEV pricing, financing and submission of stackable incentive applications.
- Drive Clean Bay Area (DCBA): The DCBA campaign launched the ZEV Families Program in 2019 in collaboration with Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet, Charge Across Town and Cool the Earth to connect low income families in the Bay Area to the clean transportation movement. DCBA focuses on engaging local schools, nonprofits and businesses to educate their stakeholders to drive electric. The ZEV Families Program leverages 1) a family/community approach rather than single buyer, 2) a STEM focus, 3) school and educational events and Ride and Drives, 4) multi-platform social media, and 5) a data-driven approach.
- Ecology Action: Ecology Action helps people act now to reduce emissions at scale to ensure a thriving people and planet. They are committed to transportation justice and have helped advance sustainable transportation in DAC communities for nearly two decades. Ecology Action leads the collaborative Central Coast ZEV Equity Initiative designed to engage and inform low-income and disadvantaged residents that ZEVs can meet their driving needs at an affordable price. With four community partners they will provide ZEV Ride and Drives, ZEV Showcase events and individualized ZEV purchase guidance by using bilingual EV Ambassadors virtually and in person when it is safe to do so, from Santa Cruz to Ventura Counties.
- Liberty Hill Foundation (LHF): LHF represents all parts of the social justice ecosystem of Los Angeles, and continues their 45-year efforts in the Los Angeles Air Basin to create greater equity, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. LHF will focus on connecting low-income and disadvantaged households across L.A. County with diverse grassroots groups through its emPOWER program – a partnership between LHF and nine community-based organizations operating across L.A. County in areas on the frontlines of industrial pollution. The program leverages the extensive network of CBO partners across social media platforms, as well as through direct outreach leveraging local community members, volunteers and leaders.
- Valley Clean Air Now (VCAN): Valley Clean Air Now (VCAN): VCAN is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to quantifiably reducing air emissions in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the region with the worst air quality in the United States. VCAN and partner Charge Across Townwill continue their comprehensive campaigns that offer San Joaquin Valley low-income and disadvantaged community groups an opportunity to drive ZEVs and to provide hands-on help with qualifying for ZEV incentives through Community Clean Car Clinics and Tune In & Tune Up events. Recently, VCAN has partnered with Community Food Distribution hosts to use their communication channels to promote personalized ZEV purchase customer support and document submission. This extended support includes coordination with ZEV vehicle dealerships throughout the qualification and sales process.
In addition to ZEV education and awareness, Electrify America is providing integral DC fast charging infrastructure to help spur the adoption of electric vehicles throughout the state, and the nation. To date, Electrify America has built more than 130 public DC fast-charging station locations throughout California and more than 480 across the United States, with plans to deploy approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers by December 2021.