Federal rebates for electric cars, upgraded railways: How Biden’s infrastructure plan could benefit California

A Toyota Prius is plugged in at a public charging station in downtown Los Angeles. President Biden’s new infrastructure plan includes money for building more electric vehicle charging stations. Photo by Amy Ta/KCRW

President Biden unveiled his $2 trillion infrastructure plan on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, which Congress would have to approve. He wants to pay for it mostly by raising taxes on corporations.

The plan includes money to improve roads, bridges, and public transportation. There will be billions for manufacturing electric vehicles, building charging stations, and converting more school buses and mail trucks to electric.

California is one of the states that could benefit from the national plan. It would receive tax incentives and provide residents with federal rebates for electric vehicles. That would support California’s goal to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035. This is all according to Alan Ohnsman, LA-based reporter who covers transportation and technology for Forbes. 

“[The rebate] would be [a] point of sale. So in California, you could knock like 10 grand off the cost of a new vehicle. So suddenly, a $40,000 or $50,000 vehicle becomes way more affordable to more people.”

As proposed, the package would provide California with $80 billion for the state’s railways. Ohnsman says those funds could help upgrade Amtrak services and electrify Metrolink lines.

Biden’s plan needs to pass Congress, but Ohnsman says it’s gaining popularity among stakeholders.

“It's a pretty clever proposal because it touches every part of the U.S. in some way. Whether it's rural broadband, or rail connections and transit and  highway improvements. There is something for everyone to love and probably something for everyone to hate.”

Credits

Guest:
Alan Ohnsman - senior editor at Forbes, where he covers the intersection of transportation and technology - @alanohnsman

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Angie Perrin, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Bennett Purser