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CARB approves $28M investment in clean trucks, cars

The California Air Resources Board approved $28 million in Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) funding to support two popular statewide incentive programs aimed at bringing the cleanest vehicle technologies to low-income and underserved communities.

California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) provides incentives to purchase the cleanest medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and Clean Cars 4 All incentivizes lower-income California drivers to scrap their older, high-polluting cars and replace them with zero-emission, plug-in hybrid or hybrid vehicles.

Each of these vehicle-purchase incentive programs helps businesses and individuals make the switch to clean vehicles and helps grow the market for these technologies.

Incentives play a pivotal role in supporting California’s air quality, climate and petroleum-reduction goals. They accelerate the transition of fleets to zero-emission in line with Governor Newsom’s Executive Order requiring all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California to be zero-emission by 2035, and requiring all medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in California to be zero-emission by 2045, where feasible.

Of $28.64 million appropriated by the Legislature in AQIP funding, the FY 2020-21 Funding Plan provides $25 million for HVIP, $3 million for Clean Cars 4 All, and $0.64 million for a fiscal reserve.

HVIP. With this funding, HVIP will reopen to new applicants after being on hold since November 2019. The highly successful HVIP, which provides point-of-sale price reductions on zero-emission trucks and buses, kick-started the market for these vehicles in California.

To date, HVIP has provided vouchers for fleets to buy more than 7,500 zero-emission and other clean trucks and buses. More than two thirds of vehicles purchased through the program are operating in disadvantaged and low-income communities, which are disproportionately burdened by harmful air pollutants and subject to heavy truck traffic.

HVIP now provides incentives for zero-emission trucks and buses from two dozen manufacturers, including several big rig trucks. The plan approved today includes an emphasis on immediate support for zero-emission short haul (drayage) trucks, as well as Board direction to develop new and innovative programs for owner-operators and small fleets.

Clean Cars 4 All. As a direct result of this program, low-income Californians have scrapped more than 9,500 old cars and replaced them with new or used zero-emission, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid cars.

Future Steps. The Fiscal Year 2020-21 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives is part of California’s comprehensive strategy for improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. It builds on the success of the funding plans over the past 11 years that have invested $2.5 billion to date for clean-transportation projects in California.

The bulk of these funds come from 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. About 55% of these funds have benefitted disadvantaged and low-income communities, and low-income households, according to CARB.

These investments have put more than 400,000 zero-emission cars, trucks, transit buses, school buses, and freight equipment into operation in California.

This year’s funding is from AQIP since the Legislature deferred action on the portion funded by cap-and-trade proceeds until 2021. To keep momentum on clean transportation, however, the Board included provisions in the plan that allow CARB to quickly provide additional funding to these key zero-emission vehicle projects should a cap-and-trade auction proceeds budget be approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

To enable this, the Board granted CARB’s executive officer authority to immediately move a portion of these funds, if and when they are available, to projects such as HVIP and Clean Cars 4 All to help meet demand from low-income consumers and California fleets.


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