- A San Francisco assemblyman is pushing a bill that aims to increase the production and sale of hybrid and other lower-emission vehicles while cutting the cost to consumers.
The bill, authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, went before the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday evening, but a vote was postponed until next week.
AB1223 would allow automakers to sell hybrid vehicles – a combination gas/electric car – through outlets other than dealerships, like Costco and eBay.
State law currently prohibits auto manufacturers from selling cars to anyone besides dealerships. The bill allows automakers and even existing retailers to obtain an Internet hybrid-vehicle sales license so they can sell the cars directly to consumers.
Supporters of the bill claim it creates competition, which would give manufacturers incentive to produce more hybrid cars.
But car dealers dispute the notion that the bill will shed the cost of hybrids or boost sales.
"Dealerships are selling as many hybrids as they can," said Marcella Rojas, spokeswoman for the California Motor Car Dealers Association, which represents 1,400 franchised new-car dealerships in the state. "It's not a question of the dealerships' unwillingness to sell hybrids; it's the manufacturers' inability to meet the rising production demand."
More hybrid love
Politicos love to show how much they love hybrids. For example: