The California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved up to $40 million for the third year of funding to promote the purchase of next-generation clean cars, trucks and off-road equipment.
Californians will be able to use vouchers or rebates on a first-come, first-served basis toward the purchase of zero-emission or plug-in hybrid cars, and zero-emission or hybrid trucks and buses.
The Board directed staff to provide the following funding:
$15 million to $21 million for continued funding of consumer rebates of up to $2,500 toward the purchase of zero-emission or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles;
$11 million to $16 million to continue providing vouchers for California businesses to buy lower-emitting and fuel-efficient hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses; and,
$2 million to $3 million toward promising locomotive, truck, and bus technology demonstration projects needed for California to meet its long-term air quality goals.
This is the third year of the Air Quality Improvement Program, established by AB 118, that invests in new emission-reduction technologies. In its first two years, the program funded approximately 2,000 zero-emission passenger vehicles and more than 1,000 hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses, totaling $58 million.
Funding for these programs is generated from expected revenues from smog abatement, vehicle and vessel registration fees.
The passenger vehicle rebates and truck and bus vouchers have proven to be extremely popular with California consumers. A waitlist has been established for zero-emission or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicle rebates to ensure that the additional rebates will be distributed fairly on a first-come, first-served basis in the fall.
AB 118 funding also provides about $100 million annually to the California Energy Commission for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote fuel diversity, and up to $30 million annually to the Bureau of Automotive Repair for voluntary passenger vehicle scrappage programs. Unless reauthorized, AB 118 and its programs will sunset in 2015.