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New Law Gives Money for Old Cars to Buy E-Bikes

A bill signed into law on September 10, 2019, by the governor of California allows residents to turn in their old gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting automobiles in for a voucher to buy an e-bike or pedal bike. Vouchers for old cars isn’t new as a previous program gave vouchers to purchase electric cars and other “mobility options.”

The program is called Clean Cars 4 All Program and it provides a voucher of $5,000 to $9,500 to car owners who turn in their 2004 or older cars to purchase certain electric or hybrid cars or a pre-loaded rideshare car, and is now adds bicycles to the options.

Old Made New

The existing law was amended by the “mobility options” by adding bikes, e-bikes, and rideshare vouchers. The grant amounts for the amended program averages around $7,500 toward the purchase of the bikes or rideshare program.

The idea is to get older cars off the streets and give people an incentive to change their travel mode to methods better for the environment. The CC4A program is funded by the greenhouse reduction fund, which received $903,726 in the 2019/2020 budget.


The participant must be below certain income brackets. Some examples are those making $49,964 for a single household, $67,640 for a 2-person household and $103,000 for a 4-person household are eligible.

The vehicle must be operational, under $10,000 lbs and a 2004 model or older. The amount of the voucher depends on the mobility option chosen by the participant, and are affected by the air quality district where the participant resides.

Once the car has been inspected, the participant will receive a letter from the Air District which can be brought to participating dealers and retailers to purchase the mobility option.

Bicycle and environmental groups have applauded the addition to the program hoping that more people will turn to alternative mobility options. The Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition said about the new law:

“A good quality e-bike is better than a car for most of the local trips that people take, but it’s hard to justify spending several thousand dollars on a bike when you don’t have that kind of money. This program will help Californians make the switch to bikes if they so wish. E-Bikes provide an affordable and cleaner option for local trips that are more fun and healthy, too.”