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ARB Distributes $25 Million for Advancing Alternative Fuel Usage in California

On Thursday, the California Air Resources Board announced the names of forty projects that have won grant money to encourage the early adoption of alternative fuels in California.

As part of ARB’s 2006-2007 budget, the California Legislature tagged $25 million for the purposes of encouraging the use of biofuels and high efficiency, low emitting vehicle technology. The intent of the Legislature was that these funds be used by projects that would reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by using the benefits inherent in alternative fuels.

By encouraging the general public to accept and prepare for alternative fuels we accelerate the transition to advanced technologies and minimize the environmental and health burdens associated with energy consuming products. Any action that reduces emissions, diversifies energy sources, and educates the public of the benefits of alternative fuels is a boon to the quality of life in California and is by extension a liberating force for the rest of the world.

—Dr. Robert Sawyer, ARB Chairman

Applications were considered in the following categories:

  • Category A: Infrastructure for dispensing E85 and potentially other alternative fuels ($6 million). Nine of the ten projects awarded funding were for E85, B99 or CNG fuels. ARB will also provide partial funding to construct and/or refurbish six electric vehicle charging stations at existing PG&E facilities in San Francisco, Davis, Fresno, Vallejo, San Carlos, and Vacaville.

  • Category B: Startup of small biofuels production facilities ($5.4 million). Six of the ten projects awarded funding are for small biodiesel plants; two are to convert landfill gas to liquefied natural gas; and two are for the use of cow manure for fuel and power generation.

  • Category C: Hybrid electric vehicle demonstration projects ($5 million). Seven projects will received funding. Within this category, $1.1 million goes to the California Clean Mobility Partnership at the University of California, Berkeley and Irvine to provide a technical assessment and early market analysis of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and advanced technology partial zero emission vehicles (AT PZEVs).

    The project will also include an evaluation of the challenges of certifying hybrids and PHEVs under current regulations, make recommendations for changes to existing protocols, will carry out a technical evaluation of plug in hybrids, and will provide an analysis of the utility-grid interaction with plug-in hybrids.

    EPRI will receive $344,000 to independently verify the performance claims for several new battery technologies, in particular, the lithium-titanate batteries from Altairnano; lithium-ion batteries from Saft/JCI; lithium iron phosphate batteries from A123Systems, Valence and LTC (GAIA); and nickel metal hydride batteries from Panasonic, EV, and Cobasys.

    The overall objective of the EPRI work is to determine the performance of the various battery technologies and to assess their state of commercial readiness for application in Plug-in HEVs.

    A project to develop a medium-duty PHEV drive system based on Eaton’s commercial hybrid technology for commercial vehicles, integrate this system in to five prototype vehicles, and test/ demonstrate these vehicles in utility and public fleets will receive $1.2 million. Deliverables funded would include; two PHEV F550 Trouble Trucks for demonstration at Pacific Gas & Electric and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and a gasoline PHEV E450 Shuttle Bus for ARB testing and demonstration.

    Tesla Motors was also the recipient of one of the awards in this category, receiving $561,000  to develop a UL-compliant, weatherproof medium-power (16 kilowatt), level 2+ commercial electric vehicle charging station that is equipped with Tesla’s ACE connector.  Subsequent initial deployment of these charging stations will be at hotel chains throughout California.

  • Category D: Transit bus projects ($2 million). Two fuel-cell bus projects received the funding in this category.

  • Category E: Incentives for PZEVs and ZEVs ($1.5 million). The San Diego Regional Energy Office will work with ARB staff to finalize vehicle incentive program guidelines, stipulating applicant and vehicle eligibility, and then disseminate the funds.

  • Category F: Funding for consumer education and outreach ($1.6 million). Four porjects received funding.

  • Category R: Alternative fuel vehicle research ($3.3 million). Six projects received funding in thie category. UC Irvine and project partners will receive $1.05 million to evaluate the challenges of PHEV certification under the current hybrid certification guidance and regulations. This project will define appropriate duty cycles to evaluate PHEVs, define all-electric range or blended modes for PHEVs, identify instrumentation and testing protocols, evaluate factors that influence transient criteria pollutants from either cold catalyst or saturated evaporative emissions captured by charcoal canisters under all-electric modes, evaluate technical attributes of PHEVs and evaluate certification testing based on protocols developed under this program. This project will also procure a variety of vehicles for testing and equipment to carry out alternative fuel vehicle testing.

    The College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at the University of California will receive almost $1.7 million to assess emissions resulting form the use of biodiesel, with a particular focus on NOx formation.

A multi-state agency team comprised of the ARB, CEC, State Water Resources Control Board, Integrated Waste Management Board, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Department of Forestry, and other agencies reviewed the proposals and provided recommendations for grants winners in April 2007.

ARB staff received 208 responses by the deadline on March 19, 2007. The total requested by these applications was $160 million. Staff considered the applicants project cost, timing, alternative fuels usage, complementary funding source, and completeness of the application in making their decisions. Awards will be made in late May and June 2007.




I hope that this accomplishes these intended purposes. One million dollars can go a long way when put in the right place and used for the right things.

Conservatives would say that government should not pick "winners and losers". I presume that to mean that the "free market" is suppose to. But what if this sacred market does not do what we all want, in a time frame that we all need?

C. Spangenberg

"I presume that to mean that the "free market" is suppose to. But what if this sacred market does not do what we all want, in a time frame that we all need?"

Hi a car with about the same interior size as the Prius2 but with much less CO2 ( 81 versus 104 G / KM ) was built in Germany in the Year 2000 and was not built anymore since 2005 because the "free market" went to the SUV and the fuel price was to low . This record was achieved only by intelligent design without any hybrid component . The Audi A2 1.2 !

So time now is changing . Fuel Price up and more drivers use now their brains in buying cars !

C . Spangenberg


I presume that to mean that the "free market" is suppose to. But what if this sacred market does not do what we all want, in a time frame that we all need?

I view the marketplace as a far more democratic instrument of change. Decisions made by a small number of government bureaucrats who may be unduly influenced by special interests is not what we want, either. It's "picking winners" that's gotten us until this corn ethanol boondoggle in the first place.


I do not see it as either or, but a bit of both, decided on a case by case basis.
I do not think the there is a "one size fits all" ideology that is ideal for all circumstances.

In short, it is neither all market driven or centrally driven, but a good balanced combination of both Whatever else makes sense to increase the likely hood of the best outcome for everyone.

Congress is in the name of this site for a reason. It is not just technical opinion that drives decisions.
It is a balanced consideration of many factors that can lead to better decisions.

C. Spangenberg

"I view the marketplace as a far more democratic instrument of change. Decisions made by a small number of government bureaucrats who may be unduly influenced by special interests is not what we want, either. It's "picking winners" that's gotten us until this corn ethanol boondoggle in the first place."

Hi i think the public is more driven by instinct in buying cars , so that we need laws and rules which favor logical and not "instinct cars" like the Hummer .

The Audi A2 1.2 is an example where too little support from the governement destroyed the market for a "logical car" which had enough size with until today umatched low fuel consumption but did not look "impressive" enough .

Bioethanol is an interim fuel - but a fuel which helps our farmers , is produced in our country and does not has the particel problems of the biodiesel . And by the way it is easy to implement in our already existing car fleet . ( "Flex Fuel Gold" and other cheap and simple Kits )

C. Spangenberg

C. Spangenberg

"Full Flex Gold" is the name of a ethanol conversion kit

George K

Too bad’s proposal wasn’t yet selected. They’ve done more for the PHEV movement than anyone I know of (they’re the ones who got me hooked!).


I think FFV PHEVs can be a way towards using less oil, creating less pollution and GHG. We can go beyond E10, if and when we can get cellulose ethanol on a large scale.

People can plug the vehicles into their garage outlets to get some EV range for around town and they can run on liquid fuels for long trips, where there are fueling stations.

People may want to change the world overnight and make statements with words like "should" in them, but we need to take realistic steps, one step at a time for the most part.


This is off topic, but if anyone remembers the 2000/2001 Enron gaming of the electricity and natural gas markets in California, you will remember that California reduced consumption almost 10% very quickly.

My point is, if we want to do something about high gasoline prices and refinery shortages, let us start with US.

Our behavior can do more towards a solution than anything in the short run. Instead of "buy no no gas on Wednesdays" nonsense, try using less for the second half of this year.

From June 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007, try using 5% less gasoline than you did the previous 6 months. The methods will be different with each situation, but I believe that it can be done.


Thanks for sharing

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