Berkeley, California – If you want to see what’s coming next in electric cars and plug-in hybrids, you’ll have to drive into the city of Berkeley.
This year, the city has added another plug-ins category to its already extensive list of electric vehicles.
The city will now allow the public to buy electric and hybrid cars from manufacturers including Mitsubishi, Tesla and Nissan.
The city will also offer a tax credit of up to $10,000 for electric and other hybrid vehicles that can be purchased at select retail outlets.
But even though Berkeley’s new rules will allow for electric vehicles, some are already predicting a new trend.
A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Research Institute, predicted that more than 20% of the cars on the road in the US by 2020 will be plug-and-play hybrid vehicles.
“We have a real opportunity to make a lot of these electric vehicles more sustainable, not just in terms of the emissions but in terms not only the miles and miles of battery,” says Matti Ostergren, an associate professor at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation and Development.
Ostergren says that the cost of electric and hybrids could fall by 40% or 50% if the public gets involved and participates in the process.
The University of Michigan Transportation Research and Innovation Institute says that a 40% reduction in the cost could save the US about $2 trillion by 2040.
California has already seen the benefits of these types of incentives.
In 2014, the state’s electric vehicle tax rebate program saved consumers about $3 billion a year in the form of lower vehicle prices and a better safety record.
And California’s Clean Energy Fund is one of the largest in the country.
But as the state transitions to electric vehicles in 2019, the program will have to wait for a federal policy change.
In 2017, the Trump administration delayed the introduction of a tax break for electric vehicle purchases until 2022.
California’s Department of Finance said that it will work with the White House and Congress to change the law and create a new electric vehicle incentives program.
But Ostergran says that is not likely to happen for another few years.
The California Electric Vehicle Association has already said that the Trump Administration’s delay of the EV tax incentive was too harsh.
The group said that while it was still possible for the state to make EVs less expensive by 2025, it is not feasible to make them more affordable.
California is also working on a new program that could potentially save the state about $5 billion a day in costs, says Mark Latham, president of the California Vehicle Alliance.
The program will likely include a tax exemption for the purchase of electric or hybrid vehicles in California, a rebate for the cost and a cap on the amount of vehicle miles that can go on a vehicle lease.
But for now, it will likely be just for the City of Berkeley, Latham says.
The City of San Francisco has also recently begun rolling out electric charging stations.
It recently announced that it has installed more than 300 charging stations, mostly in the city’s downtown core, where people can charge their vehicles with their own energy.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing the program.
If it approves it, it would mean that a city can charge its residents a flat $5 per day per vehicle, for an average of a year.
The commission will decide if the program should continue to go forward, according to a city spokesperson.
San Francisco also plans to add another new category of EV credits, called “charge credits,” that will allow residents to save up to 80% of their electric vehicle charges, for a maximum of $20 per month.
This is expected to help offset the $25 annual tax credit for electric cars.
California will likely expand these EV credits as the 2020 elections approach, says John Hockett, director of policy studies for the California Public Utilities Association.
“There are people who may have never owned a car before and have been buying electric vehicles,” he says.
“They might be the first to jump in and save a little bit.”
But the California Energy Commission, which regulates the state grid, has not yet taken a position on these EV credit programs.
And while the California State Senate passed a bill in November that would have allowed people to use an EV credit to purchase an EV in California if they had a $1,000 down payment, it was not enacted into law.
“This is just the first step.
There are many, many other steps ahead for California,” says David Kocher, a former chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute who now teaches economics at California State University, Fullerton.