Where does the money go for electric vehicles?

A sign painted in a parking spot at an electric vehicle charging station in Millbrae. Photo by Martin do Nascimento, CalMatters
A sign for electric vehicle parking and charging in Millbrae. Photo by Martin do Nascimento, CalMatters


The share of Prop. 30 revenues — estimated to total $3.5 billion to $5 billion a year — that is set aside to beef up the state’s charging infrastructure and to provide subsidies for more people to afford electric cars. Half of that money is set aside for low-income communities. The state has already dedicated $10 billion over a five-year period on these programs. California’s recently passed mandate to phase out all new sales of gas-powered cars by 2035 requires massive investments in clean energy.

Here’s a breakdown of what that looks like: 

  • 35% of the total Prop. 30 revenue would go towards building charging stations in homes and apartments. That money will also be used for building fast-chargers in public spaces and fueling infrastructure for medium and heavy-duty vehicles like trucks, buses and off-road construction equipment.  
  • 45% of all funds would go towards the state’s zero-emission subsidy programs meant to help make electric vehicles more affordable. Currently, eligible residents can receive as much as $7,000 or $9,500 in state subsidies, depending on the program. All programs have income limits. Prop. 30 would increase state funding for zero emission subsidy programs by $1.6 billion to $2.25 billion per year, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. This pool of money is also meant to increase access to other modes of clean transportation that don’t require owning a car, including electrifying public transit, school buses and bikes. 

$384 million

The federal funding California is expected to receive over the next five years, provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, will help accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles. The money will be used to install charging stations statewide and builds on the state’s $10 billion climate investment in electric vehicles. The federal money also includes $68.2 million so that 177 school buses can be replaced with electric models

Federal subsidies for electric vehicles will be available through the Inflation Reduction Act, where applicants can expect to receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 per vehicle. 


So far this year, 17.7% of all new cars sold in California were electric, according to the California Energy Commission. All told, more than 1.3 million electric cars have been sold in the state. Though California is home to just 10% of all cars in the U.S., the state represents 42.6% of all new zero emission vehicle sales sold nationally. 


The average price tag of a new electric car is about $66,000, but can range anywhere from about $28,000 to upwards of $160,000 for luxury models. 

The cost has steadily been decreasing as more models flood the market, but for most people, they’re still out of reach. There are more than 115 electric models available, with the Chevy Bolt EV, MINI Electric and Nissan Leaf among some of the most affordable.