Clunker Reducing Pilot Program for Southern California Residents

Pliot program announced to create an incentive program to scrap old polluting clunkers for hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (ZEVs).  Pilot program is for the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley air districts.

Need Based Incentives based on three separate income levels: (see Federal Poverty Level Tables below).

  • Low Income – household income equal to or less than 225 % of the federal poverty level
  • Moderate Income – household income 226 to 300 % of the federal poverty level
  • Above Moderate – household income 301 to 400 % of the federal poverty level

In addition, those individuals must reside in a ZIP code that contains a disadvantaged census tract

Incentives are also based on level of car being purchased.

Hybrid(35+ mpg) Plugin-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Low Income $7K $11k $12k
Moderate Income $5k $9k $10k
Above Moderate Income $0k $7k $8k


Have a clunker to scrap but don’t want to buy a new car?
Money for public transit
If you scrap an old, dirty car but choose not to replace it, you are also eligible for vouchers for public transit passes, between $2,500 and $4,500 in value, depending on your income level.

Contact the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District at (559) 230-6000, or in the Greater Los Angeles area contact South Coast Air Quality Management District staff at (909) 396-2647.

If the pilot programs are not available in your area learn more about existing etablished statewide California car buyback programs.

2015 Federal Poverty Levels

Family Members Annual Household Income
1 $11,770
2 15,930
3 20,090
4 24,250
5 28,410
6 32,570
7 36,370
8 40,890

table source : Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines – 2015 Federal Register

California Governor Brown Pledges to Remove California Clunkers

California Govenor Jerry Brown plegdes an ambitious “Goal Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030”.  To meet these goals California must embrace alternative fuel automobiles and remove clunkers from California highways and streets.

3.The California Air Resources Board shall update the Climate Change Scoping Plan to express the 2030 target in terms of million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Part of this plan is the
California State Agencies’ PATHWAYS Project
Long-term Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scenarios

which calls for

  • Zero emission and hybrid vehicles (ZEVs)
    A rapid i ncrease in near zero and zero emissions vehicles
    (ZEVs) by 2030
  • 6 to 7 million ZEVs and  plug in hybrid vehicles ( PHEVs) on the road in 2030 in the
  • 3 to 8 million ZEVs  and PHEVs  in 2030

This means the state will continue to fund voluntary car scrappage in California.

“With this bold action by the Governor California extends its leadership role and joins the community of states and nations that are committed to slash carbon pollution through 2030 and beyond. Building on our existing climate programs, the 40 percent reduction will drive and accelerate innovation, generate new jobs, improve air quality and hasten California’s transition to a clean energy economy.” – California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols

Sources and More information please see

Cash For Clunkers May Include Non-US Makes

Looks like compromises are being made and Cash for Clunkers could get picked up in Congress next week.

April 17 (Bloomberg) — U.S. lawmakers may let cars made overseas qualify for a proposed “cash-for-clunkers” program in a bid to secure passage of the measure, designed to help revive domestic auto sales at a 27-year low.

An option under consideration would distribute subsidies to new-car buyers based on manufacturers’ U.S. market share, said Representative Betty Sutton, sponsor of the proposal. The approach may overcome objections that Sutton’s original plan subsidizes North American-made products only.

Cash For Clunkers is Heating Up

There is a lot of news about Cash for Clunkers today.

First from the Wall Street Journal:

Joseph B. White’s “Eyes on the Road” analysis of one of the “cash for clunkers” programs being proposed to spur trading in older, less fuel-efficient vehicles (“How Much Is Your Guzzler Really Worth?,” Personal Journal, April 7) concludes that the program’s success will come up short as the scrapping bonuses appear to be pegged below the current trade-in market for those vehicles. Mr. White seems to conclude that the program will end up being ineffective. My fear is that it will actually end up hurting the industry it’s designed to help.

SEMA has been very vocal in it’s opposition to Cash for Clunkers.  Here is an article from this month:

SEMA challenges ‘Cash for Clunkers’ claims

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)  is disputing claims that vehicle scrappage programs, like the proposed “Cash for Clunkers” initiative, will reduce the United States’ dependency on foreign-sourced oil.

“Scrappage programs accelerate the demise of older vehicles, which are typically crushed into blocks of metal,” say SEMA officials. “These ‘Cash for Clunkers’ programs focus on a car’s age or fuel efficiency rather than its actual emissions or how much it is driven.”

Also,  Chuck Shumer (D-NY) gave a speech in Buffalo today about Cash for Clunkers:

BUFFALO, N.Y. Press release – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer on Thursday, April 16, 2009 detailed his legislation to create a national voucher program, known as “Cash for Clunkers”, that would enable and encourage Western New York drivers to trade in their older, less fuel efficient cars, trucks and SUVs for more fuel efficient vehicles.

How a Bill Becomes a Law

I found this interesting one-page summary of how a bill becomes a law in the US. It’s pretty straightforward but I imagine there are a lot of things that factor into the process that is not covered on this page:

Of course,  those of you who are old enough to remember this one, already know how a bill becomes a law:

Schoolhouse Rock- How a Bill Becomes a Law

Cash For Clunkers is Working Great in Europe

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The economy here may be in free fall, but anxiety about the future did not stop Vilo Hrivnak from driving his 12-year-old green hatchback to the junkyard a few days ago and promptly buying his first new car, a cappuccino-colored Skoda.

Like hundreds of thousands of car owners across Europe, Mr. Hrivnak was spurred to act by new government subsidies for drivers who junk their old jalopies — in his case 2,000 euros, or $2,655 — and trade up to a new model.

Slovakia is one of a nearly dozen European countries to unveil a so-called cash for clunkers plan in recent months, but the idea could soon get its biggest test yet in the United States, where President Obama endorsed a similar approach Monday to help beleaguered Detroit automakers.