California Governor Passes on Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project

California Governor Passes on Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project

Senate Bill 301 aimed at incentivizing the conversion of gas and diesel-powered cars into zero-emission vehicles was vetoed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has expressed its disappointment that California’s Senate Bill (S.B.) 301 — legislation aimed at incentivizing the conversion of gas and diesel-powered cars into zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) — was vetoed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Authored by California Senator Anthony Portantino, S.B. 301 sought to establish the groundbreaking Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project (ZACP) under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Despite being lauded as a “job creator” by the California Chamber of Commerce and receiving unanimous support from lawmakers, the bill faced a veto at the Governor’s desk. This program would have provided rebates of up to $4,000 to California residents undertaking the conversion of eligible used vehicles, with stringent guidelines ensuring compliance with safety, range and affordability criteria.

SEMA says that this missed opportunity is glaring, especially as California boasts several programs promoting new ZEV purchases but lacks support for ZEV conversions of existing gas-powered vehicles. SEMA also believes this setback hinders the rollout of a program that bolsters cleaner air, reduces carbon emissions, and fuels job growth and economic prosperity statewide.

S.B. 301 was poised to be a catalyst for progress. With over 149,000 jobs and a significant $40 billion economic impact, the specialty automotive aftermarket stands as a vital contributor to California’s economy. SEMA states that this bill represented a chance to supercharge the industry, aligning seamlessly with the Governor’s stated priority of advancing cleaner vehicles.

“SEMA is profoundly disappointed by Governor Newsom’s lack of foresight in vetoing S.B. 301,” said Mike Spagnola, president and CEO of SEMA. “This legislation would have advanced environmental sustainability and leveled the playing field for aftermarket conversions while fostering innovation, supporting small businesses, and providing consumers with affordable and sustainable transportation options.”

SEMA remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for policies that promote innovation and sustainability within the automotive industry. While S.B. 301 may not have secured the Governor’s signature this time, SEMA says it will continue collaborating with lawmakers, stakeholders and the community to advance initiatives that drive innovation.

For more information on SEMA, visit sema.org.

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