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California Air Resources Board
Improved Program Measurement Would Help California Work More Strategically to Meet Its Climate Change Goals

Report Number: 2020-114

Figure 1
California Has Implemented Goals to Reduce GHG Emissions

A line graph showing California’s emissions since 1990 and the State’s progress toward its 2030 emissions reductions goal. In 2006, when emissions reached 481 MMT, State law directed CARB to adopt a GHG emissions limit that is equivalent to the State's 1990 GHG emissions level, to be achieved by 2020. In 2016, as emissions levels had fallen to 429 MMT, which met the 2020 goal of 431 MMT, State law set an additional goal of 260 MMT 2030. The graph shows that, based on passed emissions, the State is not on track to meet the 2030 goal.

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Figure 2
California’s ZEV Sales Must Continue to Increase to Meet Long‑Term Objectives

A chart showing California’s progress toward its 2025 and 2030 ZEV sales goals. As of data from October 2020, there had been over 700,000 ZEVs sold in California. The 2025 objective is 1.5 million ZEVs sold and the 2030 objective is 5 million ZEVs sold.

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Figure 3
Various Factors Simultaneously Contribute to Increased ZEV Sales

A chart providing an example of how a regulatory program, several incentive programs, and other factors all contribute to California’s ZEV sales objectives of 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025 and 5 million on the road by 2030. The regulatory program requires a certain amount of ZEVs to be manufactured and sold each year. The incentive programs CVRP, Clean Cars 4 All, and Financing Assistance provide rebates, loans, and other financial assistance to consumers to purchase ZEVs. Other factors external to CARB, such as federal tax credits, high-occupancy vehicle stickers, and consumer preferences also contribute to ZEV sales.

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Figure 4
CVRP Rebates Account for a Decreasing Share of ZEV Sales in California

A bar graph showing that CVRP rebates accounted for a decreasing share of ZEV sales in California from 2013 through 2019. In 2013, CVRP rebates accounted for 73 percent of all ZEV sales in California. This percentage has generally decreased annually, and in 2019 only 48 percent of ZEV sales in California had a CVRP rebate issued.

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Figure 5
CARB Establishes Specific Socioeconomic Goals but Only Reports on Broad Outcomes

A flow chart showing CARB’s socioeconomic goals, the relevant metrics we identified for evaluating those goals that CARB does not report on, and the sole metric on which CARB does report. CARB has specific socioeconomic goals for the Financing Assistance, Car Sharing, and Clean Cars 4 All programs but CARB does not evaluate increases in mobility, improvements in employment, or decreases in transportation costs, among other metrics. The only metric CARB uses to evaluate its socioeconomic goals across all three programs is spending in disadvantaged and low-income communities.

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Figure 6
CARB Has Missed Opportunities to Measure Benefits for Its Clean Cars 4 All Program

A graphic depicting an example in the report text about the fact that CARB has missed opportunities to measure socioeconomic benefits of its Clean Cars 4 All program. The figure lays out that CARB intended for Clean Cars 4 All to achieve specific socioeconomic benefits when it requested funding for the program. To measure these benefits, CARB created a survey designed to measure these benefits. CARB requires the program administrators of Clean Cars 4 All to administer these surveys, but CARB does not require the administrators to ask the specific questions CARB designed, nor does CARB know what questions the administrators actually ask. CARB has not conducted an analysis of the survey responses.

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