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CARB launches $40M CORE incentive program for clean off-road freight and cargo handling equipment, vehicles

The California Air Resources Board launched a new $40-million program designed to accelerate the purchase and use of zero-emission off-road freight technologies.

The “Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project” (CORE) will feature a streamlined voucher process for buyers to receive funding that will offset the higher costs of clean, zero-emission equipment including terminal tractors, transport refrigeration units, cargo-handling equipment and more.

Under the CORE program a business owner could receive $180,000 to cover the difference between a zero-emission tractor and one that is powered by diesel. The program also encourages deployment of cleaner technology in disadvantaged communities by providing up to 10 percent higher incentives for zero-emission equipment that will be used in these areas.. Awards can’t exceed $500,000 per piece of equipment.

CORE is based on California’s popular Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), which is helping to facilitate and commercialize use of clean on-road technologies by transit agencies throughout the state.

From its inception in 2009, more than $447 million has been allocated to HVIP. The investment will bring the total number of ultra-clean trucks and buses operating on California’s roadways to more than 7,000 over the next two years with more on the way, as demand for vouchers continues to grow. Additionally, HVIP has helped more than 1,100 California fleets buy cleaner vehicles.

CALSTART, a national nonprofit consortium that works with innovators to advance modernization and adoption of clean vehicles, administers HVIP, and was recently awarded the contract to administer the CORE program. Both programs are funded by California Climate Investments, the statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

CORE targets commercialized zero-emission products, including the types of equipment listed below. Other equipment categories may be added in the future.

  • On- and off-road terminal tractors
  • Transport refrigeration units
  • Forklifts (greater than 8,000 lbs. lift capacity)}
  • Container handling equipment
  • Airport cargo loaders
  • Wide-body aircraft tugs
  • Railcar movers
  • Rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes

To obtain CORE discounts, business owners will work with CORE-approved dealers to choose the appropriate equipment. Buyers will receive the discount at the point of sale. The dealer then submits a CORE voucher request form on behalf of the buyer and is reimbursed once all required paperwork is provided and the new zero-emission equipment is delivered to the buyer. Funds for the new program are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Anyone interested in buying equipment through the CORE program should note that their fleets must already be in full compliance with the state’s existing applicable regulations (Truck and Bus, TRU, Off-Road, Large Spark Ignition, Cargo-Handling, etc.). The CORE program cannot be used to bring fleets into compliance.

CORE funding is expected to be available before the end of the year.

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