Zero-Emission Vehicles Consumer Awareness Grant

The California 2021-22 Budget provided GO-Biz a one-time $5 million General Fund allocation to accelerate implementation of the Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Market Development Strategy’s End User Pillar. Projects awarded with these funds will focus on raising awareness and improving access to ZEVs for drivers and riders in hard-to-reach or underrepresented communities through direct engagement efforts that fill information gaps, address barriers, and present opportunities to accelerate ZEV adoption within these communities and across California.

Consumer Awareness Project Objectives

  • Improve customer awareness of zero emission vehicle technology and its benefits in collaboration with other organizations, including vehicle manufacturers, in a brand and technology neutral way.
  • Increase awareness and access to ZEVs in priority communities and expand tools that help convert this awareness into decisions to drive or ride in ZEVs.

Application Process:

The deadline to submit an application is December 17, 2021, at 11:59 PM PST.

Applications must be submitted by e-mail to

For full application instructions, eligibility criteria, and additional information, please see the Request for Proposal Announcement (RFP).

young adults charging zev

Questions & Answers

Grant Awards

Question: Is there a minimum or maximum grant amount?

Answer: The maximum possible grant amount is $5 million, although awards will be smaller if more than one proposal is selected for funding. There is no minimum grant amount. Final award amounts for all awardees will be determined by the competitive score received.

Question: How many awards do you expect to make? Is there a limit on the number of awardees?

Answer: We have not predetermined the number of awards for the funds. GO-Biz will determine final funding amounts based on evaluation of scores and budget reasonableness. Applicants must have a plan of action and commitment to fully draw down all private funds identified for the match requirement, and all state funds, during the grant period and must provide documentation of required match funding.

Reaching Priority Communities

Question: Is the intention of the RFP to use all the funding towards priority populations, or that a portion of funding should be set aside for priority populations?

Answer: The intention of the RFP is to raise awareness for everyone, but with extra effort directed toward priority populations

Question: Can GO-Biz clarify its definition of priority communities? Is the CalEnviroScreen relevant here?

Answer: For purposes of the present RFP, “priority communities” is defined in the ZEV Market Development Strategy (see page 41). Priority communities include neighborhoods of California that disproportionately suffer from historic environmental, health, and other social burdens. These burdens include, but are not limited to, poverty, high unemployment, inadequate access to educational resources and training opportunities to secure high-road jobs, air and water pollution, presence of hazardous wastes, high incidence of asthma, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Due to historic discrimination, these communities often include high levels of residents and households with people of color, low-income status, seniors, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, and those who have limited awareness of or access to clean transportation and mobility options.

Priority communities may include, but are not strictly limited to, disadvantaged communities (DACs) as identified by CalEnviroScreen 3.0. Applicants are encouraged to provide relevant data and background information that illustrates the needs and opportunities in communities their project will impact.

Question: Is there any guidance on how much the campaign should focus on in-person test drive events in priority communities?
Answer: All approaches that can effectively meet program objectives will be considered, including in-person test drive events. The intention of the RFP is to raise awareness among all Californians, with extra effort in priority communities. Strong proposals will describe how the approach taken addresses each of the two objectives, and what methods will be used to reach and engage priority communities.
Question: Can ZEV education include a series of displays/seminars/conferences and event sponsorships on junior college campuses in the “hard to reach, underrepresented communities”?
Answer: Yes. Activities that clearly support the ZEV Consumer Awareness Program objectives will be considered, including training expenses and event sponsorships directly related to the applicant’s consumer awareness project.

Program/Project Details

Question: Are you requiring multilingual implementation of this program or is it up to the entities to decide?

Answer: Multilingual implementation is not required, but will be taken into consideration to the degree that it helps reach priority communities and advance consumer awareness project objectives.

Question: Is Go-Biz wanting a statewide reach from every project or will projects with a regional but deeper engagement approach compete well?

Answer: Local and regional projects will be considered. Strong proposals will specify the project’s target geography and audience; and describe the applicant’s approach and demonstrable capacity for engaging its target audience in the given geography.

Awardee Eligibility

Question: Do companies applying for this grant need to be registered in CA, or are those operating in CA but incorporated elsewhere also eligible?

Answer: The company must be qualified to do business in California.

Eligible Vehicles

Question: Is the ZEV Awareness RFP only for light-duty vehicles?

Answer: While GO-Biz does anticipate a strong focus on light-duty, programs focusing on all weight classes are eligible to apply.

Question: Is this just for electric vehicle awareness or also for electric bikes?

Answer: The grant is open to raising awareness on any zero-emission vehicle, which includes electric bikes. However, we expect the primary focus of grant awards will be on freeway capable zero-emission vehicles.

Eligible Expenses

Question: Does this grant cover any incentives/grants for purchasing/leasing an EV or e-bike?

Answer: No, this grant does not cover purchase or lease incentives. However, informing potential buyers about existing ZEV incentives and/or providing technical assistance to help buyers qualify for incentives would be eligible activities.

Question: Does the grant cover planning and implementation of customer awareness of ZEVs?
Answer: Yes – grant funds may cover employee or consultant time and necessary supplies for designing and developing a ZEV consumer awareness project, as well as implementing and monitoring the project. Up to 20% of each awardee’s total grant award may be disbursed upfront at the onset of the project.
Question: Are there limitations on overhead and, if so, is application of a Federally approved ICAP rate allowed?

Answer:  There is no specific cap on overhead/indirect costs. All applicants should provide an explanation of how indirect costs are calculated. Those who have a federally-approved Indirect Cost Allocation Plan (ICAP) rate, Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), or similar document may include this information.  

All costs incurred under the Program must meet the tests of reasonableness, allowability, and allocability in accordance with the grant’s allowable costs and grant agreement terms. All costs charged under the grant are subject to audit. Recipients are responsible for ensuring proper management and financial accountability of state funds to preclude future cost disallowances. 

Match Requirements

Question: What is the local match requirement?

Answer:  The minimum cash match share is 30% of the grant award amount. Additional points will be given to proposals that bring match funds above the minimum requirements. In-kind match sources may be included if they are above and in addition to the minimum cash match requirement. 

Question: What is the necessary match share to earn the 5 additional points mentioned in the scoring section?

Answer: The full 5 points will be awarded for 1:1 match share. Bonus points will be scaled back from there for proposals that exceed the 30% cash match requirement. 

Question: Can the cash match be from other state sources or must it be from non-state sources?

Answer:  Other state sources may be used to meet the match requirement provided that such use of funds complies with the applicable terms and conditions of the funding agency. Note: Applicants must generate and provide documentation of required match funding. 

Participating in or submitting multiple proposals

Question: Can an applicant submit two proposals for very different projects?

Answer: An applicant may submit two proposals, but no more than one may be selected for funding.

Question: Can entities participate in numerous RFP proposals as a subcontractor?

Answer: Yes.


Question: In the Points Scoring section there does not appear to be any bonus weighting for Veteran Owned businesses. Is this a deliberate exclusion?

Answer: Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) was included in the RFP. This was not intended to exclude Veteran-owned businesses; they will also be eligible for bonus points.

Question: In the points possible section there does not appear to be any specific incentive to address multi-family residents. Will GO-Biz be altering the scoring or adjusting for multi-family in evaluating proposals?

Answer: The scoring does not include a specific carve out for multi-family dwellings.

Corrections and Clarifications

Question: The Final Report description states that the Final Report is due May 31,2021. Is this an error?

Answer: There is an error on page 6 in the Final Report section. The Final Report is due May 31, 2023.