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California Energy Commission to award $13M to further ZEVs and advanced vehicle technology manufacturing in the state

The California Energy Commission has issued two solicitations for a combined $13.3 million to further advanced ZEV and advanced vehicle technologies in the state. The first, Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Readiness (PON-14-603), will award about $3.3 million to support planning efforts for plug-in and fuel cell vehicles.

The second, Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing (PON-14-604), will award about $10 million to support the development of either full advanced vehicles or advanced vehicle components in the state.

Funding for the solicitations comes from the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), created by Assembly Bill (AB) 118 (Nùñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007). The statue authorizes the Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state’s climate change policies.

AB 8 (Perea, Chapter 401, Statues of 2013) re-authorized the ARFVTP through 1 January 2024, and specified that the Energy Commission allocate up to $20 million per year (or up to 20% of each fiscal year’s funds) in funding for hydrogen station development until at least 100 stations are operational. The ARFVTP has an annual budget of approximately $100 million.

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Readiness. The Energy Commission’s ARFVTP announced the availability of up to $3,300,000 in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Readiness funding to support new and existing planning efforts for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Grant funds will be awarded on a “first-come, first-served basis.”

The Energy Commission, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to increase or decrease the amount of funds available under this solicitation.

The following table shows categories of the funding allocations by category and minimum/maximum award amounts.

PON-14-603 funding categories and amounts
Category Category name Min. award Max. award Total funding available
A PEV Readiness Plan Implementation $50,000 per application Up to $300,000 per application $1,500,000
B PEV Readiness Plan Development $50,000 per application Up to $300,000 per application $900,000
C FCEV Readiness $10,000 per application Up to $300,000 per application $900,000

Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing. The ARFVTP also has $10 million in grant funds available to cost-share the development of advanced vehicle technology manufacturing (ATVM) facilities in California that produce zero-, near zero-emission (ZE) vehicles, or ZE vehicle components.

The purpose of the solicitation is to encourage the manufacturing of vehicles in California that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, displace petroleum fuel demand, and stimulate economic development.

Applicants must have a business presence in California. To be an “Eligible Project” for this solicitation, proposed projects must be located in California and fit into at least one of the following categories:

  • Complete Vehicle: Pilot manufacturing line, manufacturing line retooling, expansion of existing manufacturing line, or the addition of a new manufacturing line used for manufacturing complete alternative fuel vehicles.

    Manufacturing facilities must produce complete on-road or off-road alternative fuel vehicles consisting of one or more of the following types: two- or four-wheel passenger or commuter light-duty (LD) alternative fuel vehicles; medium-duty (MD) or heavy-duty (HD) alternative fuel trucks, buses, or off-road vehicles.

  • Vehicle Component: Pilot manufacturing line, manufacturing line retooling, expansion of existing manufacturing line, or the addition of a new manufacturing line used for manufacturing vehicle components for alternative fuel drive train, power train systems, or alternative fuel system.

    Manufacturing facilities must produce drive- or power-train vehicle components for on-road or off-road alternative fuel vehicles of the same types as above.

    Eligible activities include, but are not limited to: manufacturing line processing methods, design, engineering, testing, and plan specifications; acquisition of manufacturing equipment; labor required to install and test manufacturing equipment; performance testing, material assessments and other technical tests to verify manufacturing equipment operating characteristics, equipment integrity, and compliance with manufacturing protocols; manufacturing pilot projects or bench-scale tests to refine or improve manufacturing processes; or building and facility construction and modification that support manufacturing line.

To be eligible, applications must include a minimum 50% match share of the total allowable project costs.

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