BQuest joined San Diego-based community organization MAAC to launch an Electric Vehicle (EV) pilot program to help interested low-income families and individuals purchase EVs and be able to access the financial and environmental benefits of EV ownership, now known as the EV Access Program.
The program was initially conceived when MAAC installed dozens of electric vehicle chargers at several of their affordable multifamily housing locations, but knew that very few of their staff and residents drove electric vehicles yet.
The Impact of Driving Electric
Electric vehicles, on average, cost less than half as much to operate as gasoline-powered vehicles. Not only do EVs save on fuel costs, but they are less expensive to maintain without all the components of a gasoline engine. While rebates and tax incentives exist for some EV purchasers, they can be difficult to learn about and apply for. Additionally, emissions-related health issues caused by poor air quality disproportionately impact lower income communities. The savings and benefits make it important to create opportunities that help underserved communities have access to EV technology — because they are hit hardest by transportation-related pollution and spend a disproportionate amount of their income on gas and public transit fares.
How It Works
BQuest's deposit-backed loan guarantee at Beneficial State Bank created access to lower-interest loans for program participants. BQuest also provided grant funding to MAAC to design and implement the pilot program. MAAC provided purchasers with assistance applying for EV rebate programs, financial coaching, and support in learning about, selecting, and purchasing an EV. During the earliest pilot of the EV Access Program, BQuest also provided grants to replace rebates when the rebate program ran out of funding and 4 individuals from the MAAC community were finally able to purchase their first electric vehicle.
MAAC was then able to partner with Beneficial State Foundation to steward their CARB-funded EV rebate program in the San Diego area. The program is targeted to help low to moderate-income individuals purchase an EV in 2022. MAAC is continuing to provide EV education, financial literacy coaching, and assistance applying for the rebate and selecting a car. Borrowers are also able to secure lower-interest EV loans if needed through the BQuest loan guarantee at Beneficial State Bank.