Electrify America to Work with Six California Organizations on Adoption of ZEVs In Low-Income Communities

Electrify America has formed a collaboration with six organizations in California to help develop and launch community-based programs to support brand-neutral education and awareness of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) for disadvantaged and low-income communities. Electrify America is investing $2.7 million in the education and outreach campaign.

Electrify America uses definitions for low-income communities (LIC) and disadvantaged communities (DAC) established by the State of California, which are published and mapped by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on its “Disadvantaged and Low-income Communities Investments” webpage1.

The organizations collaborating with Electrify America on this initiative include Valley Clean Air Now (Valley CAN), Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), Chinese Newcomers Service Center (CNSC), Self Help for the Elderly (SHE), Liberty Hill Foundation (LHF) and GRID Alternatives. More than 75 non-profit, private and public entities from across California were invited to submit proposals.

“Valley Clean Air Now manages the “Drive Clean in the San Joaquin”, a program designed to help families repair or replace their older model inefficient and high emission vehicles with newer hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles,” said Tom Knox, executive director of Valley Clean Air Now. “We look forward to cooperating Electrify America on zero emission vehicle education including ride and drives designed to increase ZEV sales.”

“Our project team consists of experienced program managers and community service professionals skilled in servicing hard-to-reach populations,” said Anni Chung, President and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly. “The cooperation with Electrify America will offer continued support to our extended network of 25 community-based organizations in 10 California counties to provide culturally competent, linguistically appropriate ZEV awareness and education.”

“Due to a combination of public policies and incentive programs in California, there are more models of ZEVs available in California than anywhere else. The cost for a low-income individual to obtain both new and used ZEVs in California can often be less expensive than a similar gasoline-powered vehicle,” Richard Steinberg of Electrify America said. “Electrify America believes this is a critical message to communicate, and we have chosen to collaborate with these six organizations that are trusted in their communities and will deliver that message most effectively.”

California-based Organizations

  • Valley Clean Air Now ( (Valley CAN): Valley CAN will develop and launch a comprehensive Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) educational campaign plan that offers disadvantaged and low-Income (DAC/LIC) community members an opportunity to learn about and experience driving ZEVs. Valley CAN will provide hands-on help with qualifying for available ZEV incentives, including coordination with ZEV vehicle dealerships throughout the qualification and sales process. https://valleycan.org
  • Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE): PACE’s ZEV Awareness & Education program targets curricula for K-12 students and low-income, minority, immigrant and refugee populations throughout the Los Angeles area, the majority of which are in disadvantaged communities. This project will include outreach and education with in-language ZEV education materials including pamphlets, website content, social media, print media advertising, email communications, community events and word-of-mouth campaigns. https://pacela.org
  • Chinese Newcomers Service Center (CNSC): Based in the heart of Chinatown, San Francisco, CNSC has provided a wide variety of year-round community services mainly for new Chinese immigrants for nearly 50 years. The cooperation with Electrify America will allow CNSC to focus on a plan for developing zero emission vehicle (ZEV) educational programs for Chinese immigrants through workshops, Chinese heritage fairs, its website and social media channels. http://www.chinesenewcomers.org
  • Self-Help for the Elderly (SHE): The program plans by SHE includes working with up to ten grassroots community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide ZEV education services to disadvantaged and low-income communities from Sacramento to San Diego in a minimum of six languages. SHE will focus on community-based resource fairs, ethnic holiday celebrations, and education workshops including working with ride hail drivers to highlight the economic benefits to their businesses by shifting to ZEVs. https://www.selfhelpelderly.org
  • Liberty Hill Foundation (LHF): Continuing their 40-year efforts in the Los Angeles Air Basin to create greater equity, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity, LHF will focus on connecting DAC/LIC households across LA County with diverse grassroots groups and CBOs. LHF cooperation with Electrify America plans include distribution of ZEV education materials and hosting public education and awareness programs on the efficiency and financing assistance for ZEVs. LHF in collaboration with its community-based nonprofit partners also plans to provide access to ride and drive events, and host clean car clinics. https://www.libertyhill.org
  • GRID Alternatives: The GRID plan will support the CARB ‘One-Stop-Shop’ Pilot, which is designed to pair ZEV education and awareness activities in disadvantaged communities with streamlined access to available ZEV funding. GRID will focus on consolidation of existing ZEV educational materials, creating additional materials in partnership with a market research firm with specific expertise in low-income communities & communities of color, and developing and distributing these materials through the ‘One-Stop-Shop’ network of clean transportation equity program administrators and community-based organizations (CBOs). Plans also include a robust social media campaign to an audience of 18-45-year-old lower-income individuals, and support for ride and drive events in targeted disadvantaged communities. https://gridalternatives.org

Electrify America

Electrify America LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America headquartered in Reston, Virginia and with an office in Pasadena, CA, is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. For more information, visit www.electrifyamerica.com.


About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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