In this report, the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) identifies demographics that are underrepresented in the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) among those with low- to moderate-income (LMI). Comparisons among CVRP participants, California census participants and new car buyers reveal that the following groups are underrepresented in the CVRP Increased Rebate group:

  • Ages up to 39
  • Those who have some college or less education
  • Those who rent their homes
  • Females
  • Those who identify as Hispanic and Latinos
  • Those who identify as Black or African American
  • Those who identify as White or Caucasian

CSE also discusses results of focus groups conducted among LMI Californians to better understand barriers to electric vehicles (EVs) among these income groups as well as their preferences for information sources about EVs and cars in general. As a result of this study, CSE concluded that the top two barriers observed are (1) charging, e.g., lack of charging stations, charging takes too long and (2) costs, e.g., EVs, charging and maintenance).

Participants in the LMI focus groups identified online research as their preferred information source. While reading information about various models was popular, many enjoyed reading and watching videos of reviews comparing the features of various models. Many participants were also enthusiastic about interactive experiences with vehicles such as non-pressured test drives. Other preferences included social media, discussing with personal contacts and personal mechanics and going to dealers to learn more about vehicles and EVs.