California ARB announces $24M grant solicitation for zero-emission truck and bus pilot commercial deployment projects
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced a grant solicitation for Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Pilot Commercial Deployment Projects. Up to $23,658,000 is available for this project from FY 2014-15 funds. Up to an additional $60,000,000 may be available for projects under this solicitation from future funds appropriated by the California legislature on or before 30 June 2016.
This project complements the Zero-Emission Drayage Truck and Multi-Source Facility Demonstration Projects solicitations released in June of this year as part of a $50-million allocation for advanced technology freight demonstrations.
Medium- and heavy-duty on-road trucks and buses are a significant source of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG); diesel particulate matter 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5); and NOx emissions that lead to ozone and secondary PM. Statewide, they are responsible for 35% of the NOx emissions, 26% of the PM2.5 emissions, and 5% of GHG emissions.
Short haul/regional and over-the-road trucks and buses account for 70% of the NOx emissions; 88% of the PM2.5, and 65% of the GHG emissions from the heavy-duty sector.
This project is intended to help accelerate the deployment of a variety of commercially available medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles by placing a significant number of zero- and near zero emission buses and freight and delivery trucks in strategic truck and bus “hubs.”
There are several zero- and near zero-emission vehicles commercially available in the transit bus, school bus, and delivery truck sectors that will meet the objectives of the solicitation, ARB said. These vehicles can be purchased, although they typically have higher upfront costs.
This project will also provide benefits to disadvantaged communities by ensuring that funds are awarded to pilot projects located within, or directly benefitting, disadvantaged communities (as identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency) across the state.
ARB said that examples of types of organizations that lend well to this project concept include transit agencies; school districts; shuttle operators; and companies that offer delivery and hauling services. All work must be completed by 1 April 2019.
ARB’s April 2015 Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near Zero Emissions discussion draft document details a long-term vision for transitioning the freight sector to near-zero and zero-emission, and lists strategies for overcoming barriers to commercialization. The truck and bus commercial pilot projects funded under the new solicitation will support the Sustainable Freight document vision to overcome the technical and economic challenges with zero-emission technology advancement.
ARB is also currently updating the Advanced Clean Transit regulation, which will accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses in public transit systems. This rulemaking, scheduled for Board consideration in the second half of 2016, is part of a comprehensive effort designed to help the state achieve its air quality, climate and public health goals by transitioning all mobile sources to zero- and near zero-emission technologies. Transit bus pilot projects funded under this Solicitation will support updates to the Advanced Clean Transit regulations.
ARB will hold an applicant teleconference to answer questions regarding this Grant Solicitation on 21 October 2015.