The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has put the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) on hold after receiving voucher requests for its entire $142-million budget. More than 100 truck and bus fleets requested funding for vehicles produced by more than 20 manufacturers.
CARB, in partnership with CALSTART, launched HVIP and Low NOx Engine Incentives in 2009 to accelerate the purchase of cleaner, more-efficient trucks and buses in California. From its inception in 2009, more than $589 million has been allocated to HVIP.
Through October 2019, HVIP has committed to supporting the purchase of 3,400 zero-emission trucks and buses; more than 2,600 hybrid trucks; 3,200 low NOx engines, and 240 trucks outfitted with electric power take-off systems with vouchers requested by California fleets.
The purpose of the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) is to advance early commercial technologies that are needed to meet California’s clean air and climate goals.
During the 30-day period ending 24 October, HVIP received more than $80 million in additional funding requests. In many cases, HVIP vouchers can make zero-emission buses and trucks nearly as affordable as their fossil-fueled counterparts at point of sale.
Demand for zero-emission school buses is particularly strong, with more than 20 school districts requesting funding.
Along with record demand for new funding, California is also seeing record-breaking HVIP vehicle deliveries. Clean trucks and buses delivered in August 2019 alone were supported by more than $8 million in vouchers.
At the 24 October Board meeting, CARB approved changes to HVIP. The changes were made to address the funding shortfall, and to align eligible technologies with HVIP goals. As a result, the following are no longer eligible under HVIP:
All Low NOx engines/vehicles, except for the 11.9L Low NOx natural gas engine, using in-state produced Renewable Natural Gas;
Hybrid vehicles and hybrid conversions, unless vehicles have an all-electric range of at least 35 miles;
Voucher Enhancements for Infrastructure, ePTO Exportable Power, Hybrid Vehicle All-Electric Range, Extended Warranty, and Wireless Charging.
The Disadvantaged Community voucher enhancement remains unchanged.
Other changes made include:
A limit of 200 voucher requests per fleet per calendar year is in effect.
Stacking, or combining HVIP funding with other public programs, is allowed in a limited number of cases. Stacking continues to be allowed with local incentive programs as long as both programs are not paying for the same incremental costs.
Stacking with other state incentives such as the Carl Moyer Program or AB 617 Community Air Protection Program is only available for public transit buses, after maximum funding from the non-HVIP program. HVIP stacking is not available for vehicles funded by the Proposition 1B Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program, the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, or for trucks and buses funded by the California Energy Commission. HVIP-funded vehicles may access infrastructure funded by any other funding sources.
While funding for HVIP is currently exhausted, California maintains a portfolio of other state and local funding programs that can support medium- and heavy-duty clean vehicles.
Over the next two years state investment will bring the total number of ultra-clean trucks and buses operating on California’s roadways to more than 9,000. In total, the program has helped more than 1,500 California fleets buy cleaner vehicles.
HVIP is part of California Climate Investments, a 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. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution.