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California Gov. Newsom proposes $3.2B in EV investment as part of economic recovery package

California Governor Gavin Newsom, a vocal proponent of electric vehicles, on Friday debuted a new proposal that would earmark $3.2 billion to boost EV infrastructure and adoption in the state.

“This is a big deal,” Newsom said at a press conference Friday. “The Biden administration’s been talking a lot about this, they’re hoping to do something with the Senate, but we’re doing it. We’re not waiting around.”

Over half of the $3.2 billion budget would go toward replacing 1,150 trucks, 1,000 transit buses and 1,000 school buses with electric models. Another $800 million would be put toward the state’s Clean Cars 4 All program, which aims to help lower-income drivers upgrade to a zero- or near-zero car, as well as further rebates or clean vehicles. The proposal earmarks $500 million toward infrastructure and $250 million would go toward manufacturing grants. Newsom did not specify what type of infrastructure programs would qualify; it’s likely those funds would go toward charging.

“Hyundai, we hope you are listening,” Newsom said, referring to the automaker’s announcement Thursday that it would invest $7.4 billion in the United States to manufacture EVs through 2025.

“Let’s start to wake up to the opportunities not to be reliant on foreign adversaries or interventions from those looking to extract resources through cyberattacks and/or other foreign governments that can abuse their privileges and rights as it relates to security and availability of fossil fuels,” he said. His comments were likely in reference to the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, which has led to gas shortages in swathes of the eastern United States.

The funds are a small sliver of his proposed $100 billion economic recovery package, dubbed “California Roars Back.” If it’s approved by the state legislature, it would be the largest recovery plan in the state’s history. Other proposals included in the package are nearly $1 billion to improve the state electric grid and invest in energy storage, green hydrogen and offshore wind development.

Last September, Newsom signed an executive order to phase out internal combustion engine passenger vehicles from being sold in the state by 2035. Transportation accounts for over half of all carbon emissions in the state.

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