In the backyard of California’s Capitol sits Franklin Boulevard, a largely industrial area where many residents earn a living keeping old vehicles on the road. The state, which has been aggressively pushing toward an electric-car future, has made few such inroads in this working-class neighborhood.
“Electric vehicles are for the rich. It’s not for us,” said Mike Bokan, who owns an auto-repair shop on Franklin Boulevard, explaining a prevailing attitude. The median income here is $30,000.
One solution for making electric vehicles accessible to low-income Californians is coming from an unlikely ally: Volkswagen.