California Air Resources Board approves $663 million funding plan for clean cars, trucks, buses
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a $663 million low-carbon transportation plan to increase the use of clean cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses, and freight equipment. The funding is intended to help the state cut climate-changing gases while promoting technologies that reduce harmful diesel emissions, particularly in disadvantaged and low-income communities.
“This investment will continue to drive the market for new vehicle technologies, and put more ultra-clean and zero-emission trucks, buses, and cars into the communities across California that need them the most,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols.
The plan allocates $398 million to incentivize clean heavy-duty trucks, buses, and freight projects, including $190 million for advanced-technology freight equipment such as yard trucks, forklifts, and cranes. Most of the funding for the Fiscal Year 2017-18 plan comes from California’s cap-and-trade auction proceeds.
While diesel trucks account for only 2% of vehicles in the state, they emit most of the smog-forming pollution, and two-thirds of all diesel soot. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems.
Currently, more than 20 manufacturers offer 60 eligible models of hybrid, low-NOx, and zero-emission trucks and buses, including BYD, Complete Coach Works, Efficient Drivetrains Inc., El Dorado, Gillig, Motiv Power Systems, New Flyer, Proterra, and TransPower. The overall number of companies involved in building clean trucks and buses in California has grown rapidly over the past several years, creating jobs in the state.
CARB says the plan continues its efforts to put more clean vehicles in disadvantaged communities, while promoting technologies that can reduce harmful effects of fossil fuel emissions across California. Investments range from supporting increased numbers of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks and buses, and zero- and near zero-emission freight facilities, to rebates for the cleanest passenger cars.
Concerning heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment, the plan calls for:
- $188 million to promote the sale of clean trucks and buses through voucher incentives, driving the continued deployment of hybrid, low-NOx (nitrogen oxides), and zero-emission trucks and buses
- $190 million for advanced-technology freight-related investments that will bring clean vehicles and equipment to California's most impacted communities, transportation corridors, and freight hubs
- $20 million to make loans for clean trucks more widely available
Regarding passenger vehicles and transportation equity, the plan provides:
- $140 million to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, which offers up to $5,000 in vehicle rebates for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles
- $125 million to transportation equity projects focused on disadvantaged communities and low-income consumers. These include programs to scrap and replace older vehicles with up-to-date clean cars, cleaner school buses, and more electric car-sharing projects in disadvantaged communities.