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Los Angeles Incubator Funds Zero-Emissions Pilots

Four L.A.-area pilots will each receive $100,000 toward boosting zero-emission transportation. The initiatives aim to offer new modes of travel to underserved communities.

Several new transportation pilots in the Los Angeles region are trying to expand mobility options for low-income communities, while at the same time introducing electric vehicles.

As part of that mission, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) said in late November that it would award $500,000 toward the Zero Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project Fund to fund four pilots focused on growing car-share, bike-share and emissions-free delivery opportunities. Each pilot will receive up to $100,000 for hardware and related costs, with the remaining $100,000 funding outreach and educational efforts by community organizations.

“When we went to the state Legislature and said, 'Can you provide us more funding to do workplace development, to get more people into the green economy, as well as provide funding for pilots?' we really saw that as a great opportunity to deliver the benefit of the green economy to low-income neighborhoods,” said Matt Petersen, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

The pilots include projects like a solar-powered e-bike-share program in Huntington Park led by environmental justice organization Communities for a Better Environment. Another will develop a zero-emission e-cargo bike operation along the Los Angeles River led by the Conservation Corps of Long Beach. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is developing a car-share pilot project in San Pedro in partnership with the car-share company Envoy.

And LACI will work with companies like Envoy and Pick My Solar to better understand payment barriers and other hurdles to EV adoption in low-income neighborhoods. That effort is being led by San Fernando Valley-based environmental justice organization Pacoima Beautiful.

Combating air pollution is a major aim for projects like these and others targeting the transportation sector.

“Zero-emissions transportation solutions exist today to help solve these problems, and our community is poised to take advantage of them," said Veronica Padilla, executive director of Pacoima Beautiful, in a statement. "We can’t wait to begin developing and deploying our EV car share program with our partners at LACI.”

The pilots also targeted locations where transit and transportation options are few.

These four pilots are part of a larger LACI strategy to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission vehicles. Known as Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0, members of the Transportation Electrification Partnership have pledged to have electric vehicles account for 30 percent of all cars on the road and 80 percent of new vehicles sold in the region by 2028, when Los Angeles is due to host the Summer Olympics. The road map also aims to have 20 percent of all single-occupancy trips shift to a zero-emission transportation option by that time.

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