California Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Conversion Of ICE Power

zero emission vehicles

Once again, the Governor of the state of California has decided to forgo any common sense and instead, make a decision based on… heck, I have no idea what his thought process entails. Anyway, I just received a press release from SEMA that states, “The Specialty Equipment Market Association is deeply disappointed that California’s Senate Bill (SB) 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.”

This bill was authored by California Senator, Anthony Portantino, and sought to establish the groundbreaking Zero-Emission Aftermarket Conversion Project (ZACP) under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Despite the fact that no one I know would convert their diesel truck to any other power, the bill was being heralded as a way to create jobs by the California Chamber of Commerce and receiving unanimous support from lawmakers, the bill was vetoed 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.

This seems counterintuitive as California boasts several programs promoting new zero-emission vehicle purchases but for some reason, lacks support for ZEV conversions of existing gas-powered vehicles. This veto hinders the rollout of a program that supports cleaner air, reduces carbon emissions, and fuels job growth and economic prosperity statewide.

Some herald California as an innovation hub. This veto surely quelches that thought process. According to the SEMA press release, “SB301 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. 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 SB 301,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA’s president and CEO. “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.”

This setback does not quell the efforts of SEMA as the organization remains steadfast in its commitment to advocate for policies that promote innovation and sustainability within the automotive industry. Rest assured, while SB 301 may not have secured the Governor’s signature this time, SEMA will continue collaborating with lawmakers, stakeholders, and the community to advance initiatives that drive innovation.

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Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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