San Francisco Assemblyman hopes an increased rebate will make more people buy electric cars

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tadashi Ogitsu is one of the early fuel cell drivers in the Bay. On Tuesday, he had to leave his zero-emission vehicle at home.

"Thinking about taking a trip to Mendocino and then I have to use the Mill Valley station which is down. Then-- I can't do it."

RELATED: Proposed bill would increase rebate for electric cars bought in California

On June 1 the explosion at the main hydrogen facility in Santa Clara affected Ogitsu and thousands of drivers who, for a month and eight days, have been saving their hydrogen.

In a statement Air Products facility said:

"While Air Products continues its efforts to fully re-establish its Northern California hydrogen supply chain, we have some preliminary findings from our Santa Clara location incident investigation to share with you. As to the root cause-- analysis on the incident at the Santa Clara facility, the investigation and follow-up continues, but we have reviewed preliminary findings with the applicable government authorities."

The California Air Resources Board is aware of the explosion.

"A shortage of supply in hydrogen and I think there are roughly 11 stations in the greater Bay Area and there are actually six that are still in operation and it's a technology-based difference," said Gerhard Achtelik, Manager of the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Section at the California Air Resources Board.

Ogitsu said that even with the hydrogen setback he's glad to be part of the zero emission solution.

Assemblymember Phil Ting hopes a higher rebate for electric cars will increase the number of clean cars in California.

AB 1046's goal is to reform California's existing rebate program for electric cars.

Assemblyman Ting hopes the revamped Clean Vehicle Rebate Project would initially increase the number of clean cars on the roads and slowly decline the rebates as the market grows over time.

AB 1046 would increase the rebates to as much as $7,500 from $2,500.

"It's an important to revisit how big our rebate should be," said Assemblymember Ting.

California's main leader, Governor Gavin Newsom, united with 23 other Governors and called for a strong national clean car standard.

Opposing President Donald Trump's rollback of federal vehicle emissions standards.

"Right now the Trump administration is moving backwards. They want to roll back fuel standards, they want not to have clean car standards. They don't want to allow California to have its own clean car standards. I think that would be a disaster," said Assemblymember Ting.
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