Infineon and Fuji enter into agreement on HybridPACK 2 power modules; dual-source supplier base
California Air Resources Board releases draft regulations for cap-and-trade program linkage with Québec

California Energy Commission adopts $100M investment plan update for 2012-2013 to increase use of green vehicles and alt fuels

The California Energy Commission unanimously adopted a 2012-2013 Investment Plan Update to increase the use of green vehicles and alternative fuels. The update sets funding priorities for the approximately $100 million in annual state funds under the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (AB 118 program).

The investment plan update was developed with the input of the ARFVT Program Advisory Committee, stakeholders and the public. The 2012-2013 plan update allocates $100 million to encourage investments in the following areas:

  • $20 million to help develop and produce biofuels, including gasoline and diesel substitutes, and biomethane. These include projects that use a wide variety of materials, including waste, algae and crops that can be grown on agriculturally marginal land.

  • $11 million for hydrogen cell fueling stations. Based on automaker surveys, the number of fuel-cell vehicles in California is projected to grow from about 350 in 2011 to 53,000 by 2017. To support this growth, the California Fuel Cell Partnership anticipates a need for about 45 stations in critical regions by the end of 2014, more than double the number expected to be on-line by the end of 2012.

  • $7.5 million for charging options for full-electric and plug-in electric vehicles. Due in part to Commission investments in 4,375 residential and public charger installations, California now has the largest network of charging infrastructure in the country for electric vehicles.

  • $3 million for other fueling infrastructure, including $1.5 million for E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) and $1.5 million for natural gas.

  • $25 million for incentives for vehicles that use alternative fuels and for the development of vehicles that use advanced technology. This includes money to help pay the cost difference between conventional and alternative-fuel vehicles, including $12 million for natural gas vehicles; $2 million for propane vehicles; $5 million for light-duty plug-in electric vehicles; and $6 million for demonstration projects for medium and heavy-duty advanced vehicles technology.

  • $5 million for emerging opportunities to support innovative technologies, advanced fuels and federal cost-sharing projects, not specifically tied to any single fuel or type of technology. This broad allocation provides flexibility to respond to opportunities as they arise.

  • $20 million for manufacturing facilities, equipment and working capital. Numerous companies have spoken with the commission about their interest in expanding or relocating manufacturing facilities within California. Commission investments to date are expected to directly add roughly 1,900 jobs over the next year and 3,500 jobs during the next few years. Many of these new jobs have been driven by the Energy Commission’s investments in biofuel production facilities; infrastructure facilities, such as fueling stations; and the production of batteries and electric vehicle components.

  • $2.5 million for workforce development and training agreements. Skilled workers are needed to manufacture low-emissions vehicles, produce alternative fuels, build fueling stations and otherwise support California’s growing clean transportation market. So far, the commission has allocated $22.5 million to support workforce development and training, working with such entities as the Employment Development Department, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Employment Training Panel.

  • $3 million for regional alternative fuel readiness and planning. The Commission has awarded roughly $200,000 each to efforts in eight regions for the development of strategic plans for electric-vehicle charging infrastructure, including permitting, installation and inspection. Other alternative fuels, such as hydrogen and natural gas, may need planning support as well.

  • $3 million for collaborative work in existing and new centers for alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology. These centers can help in several ways, including identifying strategic opportunities to develop and demonstrate advanced technology vehicles, to integrate technology development with workforce training, and to seek outside public and private funds.

Summary of previous, upcoming, and proposed funding (in millions). Source: CEC. Click to enlarge.

Funding priorities through the AB118 program support fuel and vehicle development to help attain the state’s climate change policies. These investments are intended to fund the differential cost of developing and deploying emerging fuels and vehicle technologies, while leveraging investment from federal agencies, research institutions, private investors, auto manufacturers and other stakeholders.

Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the program, which provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of new technologies and alternative and renewable fuels, including electricity, natural gas, biomethane, propane, hydrogen, and gasoline and diesel substitutes. Funding sources include vehicle and vessel registrations, license plates, and smog abatement fees.

This new update covers the fourth year of the program and builds on the work of three previous investment plans. Since the program began, the Energy Commission has invested more than $200 million in projects. These projects, in turn, have drawn about $375.5 million in outside contributions, including more than $105 million through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

California is working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; decrease petroleum fuel use to 15% below 2003 levels by 2020; and increase the use of alternative fuels to 26% of all fuel consumed by 2022. Currently, the state’s transportation sector accounts for nearly 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and more than 95% of all transportation energy consumed in California is petroleum-based.


  • Smith, Charles, Jim McKinney (2012) 2012‐2013 Investment Plan Update for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program Lead Commissioner Report. California Energy Commission, Fuels and Transportation Division. Publication Number: CEC‐600‐2012‐001‐LCR



This is amazing from almost bankrupt California.


That was exactly my comment Harvey!

I admire their spirit, but aren't they bankrupt???


Probably not bankrupt if they curb the graft. Note the increased spending on NG vehicles. This is a reasonable way to take advantage of incredibly CHEAP natural gas. Plus the Cali EV charging network is impressive. Vancouver to San Diego in an EV is doable.


All done with good intentions, but they are in financial difficulty. But the US is following their example, and is headed for bankruptcy also if they don't change rapidly. Calif will be asking for government assistance in a couple of years, and will most likely get it.


California has general funds revenues of about $95B. $100 million is one tenth of one percent of their revenues. If they have an issue with balancing their budget they will definitely have to look at some other topic as a solution, because this one is down in the noise.

Check out the wiki info. California's economy is the eighth largest economy in the world (2011),[9] if the states of the U.S. were compared with other countries.[10][11] As of 2010, the gross state product (GSP) is about $1.9 trillion, which is 13% of the United States gross domestic product (GDP).

So $95B is about 5% of $1.9T. They list there debt as $361B, which is about 18% GDP and amounts to about $9,600 per citizen.

They really need to start paying down the debt, but education (K-12 and higher) and health and human services are their biggest costs, accounting for 70% of their costs. They spend about 10% on corrections and rehabilitation, about 10% on government. Your now at 90%. Cutting a hundred million from the budget for helping green vehicles might make some people happy, but would really have little affect on their budget woe's.

You can't balance a budget and pay down debt by ignoring the major contributors. You can harange about debt to the electorate to get elected and then use that as an opportunity to attack minor contributors to the debt that you have a specific dislike for, and make the general masses think that you are fiscally responsible. I do hope someday the general masses wise up to this trick.


California used to have enviable schools and no budget problems.  The problem is that the population changed.  The intractability of the current situation proves that throwing money at the problem doesn't work.

California's situation would be immensely improved by full implementation of Prop 187 and something like Arizona's SB1070.


B4...aren't we progressively transferring wealth from the majority (97%) to the minority (3%) by forcing governments and individuals to go deeper and deeper in debts. California may be one of the first test case.

What will happen when 97+% of the wealth is (hidden in tax free heavens) in the hands of the top (1% to 3%)?

Will it be a return to the good old days of Kings and Lords, the Poor and the Rich, the Have and the Have Not etc fighting each other? Are we setting the stage for what happened in many countries in Europe some 225 years ago?

If the current trend continues, that may very well happen before the end of the current century or even by 2060 or so in USA.


California needs to eliminate all the thousands of $$ leaks from such clueless bureaucracies as the California Energy Commission.

If you think $100 million does not matter, then it will only get worse; I mean keep getting worse.

When CA asks for federal assistance in a couple of years, guess who will want to approve it?


Doesn't that say it right there: 11 million dollars for 23 Hydrogen stations (if I did the math right they want to double what's there), vs. already having 4300+ EV charging stations (and they only are giving it another $7.5 million). Hydrogen just isn't economically feasible.


Great analysis, Eletruk.  Wish I'd dug into it myself.

Roger Pham

The problem of California is similar to the problems of most democracies. Through one referendum after another, the people voted for less and less taxation and more and more social benefits. The problem is similar to those of Greece, Spain, Italy, USA, etc... The Germans want to impose austerity to EU and everybody are crying foul. Few domocratic governments dare impose tariffs on cheap foreign imports made with unfair cost advantages for fear of increase cost to the voting consumers...while jobs kept hemorraging out of the countries and no politician dare doing anything about it even when it is already inflicting a lot of pain and suffering!!!

A lot of jobs could have been created with the switch to renewable energy and alternative fuels and at least in this regard, California is going into the right direction. California is right in imposing the strictest air quality standard and other strict environmental measures, and is the model for the rest of the USA, but the USA must support California's standards and impose tariffs on all imported products made with less-strict environmental preservation standard. That is the only way to keep your own industries from moving out due to strict environmental regulations, into other countries where they can pollute with impunity, and then importing back these products at lower prices yet at great profit margins. With environmental tariffs, those imports will no longer be profitable and will halt the job hemorrage.


Yes RP.... something must be done to regain sustained economic growth and local jobs and reduce growing disparities between the 3% and the 97%.

California's economic problems are more serious than many may be prepared to believe. Stockton Cal. won the title of USA's most miserable city with average property value down -67% since 2005, 18+ % unemployment, unpaid furlough Fridays for public employees, stores 75% empty on Fridays, bankruptcies up 300%, squatters and soup camps in city parks, etc etc.

The time will soon arrive to have a serious look at why a basically good system has turned out so many failures and what are the best ways to fix it.


If you want to reduce the disparities, one essential step is to stop importing poor people from around the world.  That alone pushes more people into the top 3% without otherwise changing a thing.

Roger Pham

Thanks, Harvey, for sharing the same concern.
The best ways to fix it have been successfully done before: FDR's new deal, and instead of WWII, we can start the campaign against climate change and pollution. Instead of destroying industries in Europe and Asia as in WWII so that American industries can flourish, we can enact appropriate tariffs as I've discussed, to the same effects.

US immigration requirements have gotten much tougher than before. Somehow, though, people manage to sneak in through different channels. It's just that conditions around the world are getting worse and worse...too many people, too few job opportunities. Illegal immigrants from Mexico told me that they can manage to find work there only for a few weeks out of the whole years...low-wage work, unless you work for a crime cartel...


Much tougher?  Have we eliminated the diversity visa program yet, and also the family visas which allow chain migration?

Have we started holding immigrants responsible for the care of their elderly parents who immigrate, or do we let them have SSI and Medicare that they never paid into?

Do we still have a moratorium on workplace raids to catch illegal aliens?

If any of that is still going on, we're nowhere near tough enough.


Yes, the top 3% are likely to gain the most:

1) from illegal local cheap labor, (large farm owners, construction firms and junk food outlets are making $B doing that).

2) from Asian cheap labor (Apple is the perfect example with 50+% profit margin on the new iPads).

3) from cheap Mexican, Central and South American labor (coffee, banana, pineapple, sugar; etc etc importers are making $$B doing that).

4) etc, etc

The top 3% does not have to limit their gain with illegal immigrated cheap labor, it is also very easy to move production around to countries with no minimum wages or expensive fringe benefits.

Without appropriate checks and balance, this will continue until local salaries have dropped to or below those paid in China, Mexico etc.


@R.P. the largest low cost labor force (over 50% of the world total) is in Asia. Short of closing our borders, more and more manufactured goods will be produced there. USA/Canada and EU will be likely to have more and more unemployment unless we find ways to compete.

Robots used 24/7 could be one way to do it but, while it could lower production cost, it would create more unemployment.

Assuming that we could automate 50+% of our mass production facilities to the level required to compete with lower cost imported goods, what would we do with 20+ million extra unemployed. Could we share the work and burden by putting everybody on a 2.5-day week with 90% of their salaries or have the 3% pay for 97% of FDR type massive infrastructure and clean energy projects?

Roger Pham

Good point, E-P. Politic is what's been and will always interfere with good policy making.

Let me give an example of what worked in late 70's and early 80's, when the US Big Three automakers are overwhelmed by Japanese imports. The US threatened tariff of Japanese cars unless these are assembled here in the US. Quite rapidly, we see Japanese assembly plants opening up in the USA, now employing hundreds of thousands of US employees directly and indirectly. When Chrysler needed bailout, Lee Iacocca lobbied congress for help, and help was given, which was crucial in making Chrysler profitable for the next several decades.

The gov. must ensure level playing field so that domestic industries won't be decimated by unfair cost advantages. The gov.'s job #1 is to find jobs for the citizens, or else, social unrest and regime change will occur.

If NASCAR is still a very exciting motor sport, even though engines were forever restricted to low-tech OHV pushrod and carbureted type with a restrictor plate, then why the use of industrial robots cannot be limited below the threshold of massive unemployment?

If we have another FDR, all of today's employment and economic problems can and will be solved. We need massive renewable energy collectors and infrastructure. Once these are in place, we will still need a huge work force to maintain them. Then, start massive recycling infrastructure so that we will not throw away anything in landfills, but recycling or re-use every thing that we will ever manufacture.

Long-term speaking, how do one prevent unemployment? By reducing the number of the unemployable people. How to reduce the number of unemployable people? By ensuring that their fertility rates will remain below the fertility rates of working people. Offer financial support to those chronically unemployed only when they agree to remain on bith control, and adopting the "One Child per Welfare Family" Plan. No welfare support for any children born after the first child.


RP...I agree with you that a massive FDR approach could fix current unemployment and the slow dragging economy. It could also fix future energy higher demand and reduce crude import.

How would any Fed Admin do that with the current political turmoil in USA. It would take years and years of useless talks. One thousand and more lobby groups would oppose the program until they have their $$$M. The 3% with most of the wealth would refuse to pay their relative share and finance a nation wide misinformation program.

Canada did a similar (limited) infrastructure program for the last 4 years and it worked. Too bad that the current PM recently changed his mind and decided to buy F-35 and other extremely expensive military hardware for $85+B instead.

A group of 250+ scientists arrived (yesterday) at the same solution with regards to population growth versus global survival and employment-economic-environmental stability. So far, China is the only place where it has been done. India (and many other countries with very high birth rates) will have to do the same soon.

The comments to this entry are closed.