California Energy Commission approves $1.4B plan for zero-emission transportation infrastructure and manufacturing
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a three-year, $1.4-billion plan to close the state’s funding gap to speed up the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure build-out in support of Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.
The –2023 Investment Plan Update plan increases the budget of the Clean Transportation Program by six times, including $1.1 billion from the 2021–2022 state budget in addition to the remaining $238 million in program funds.
The plan focuses on ZEV infrastructure build-out, with nearly 80% of available funding going to charging stations or hydrogen refueling. Investments are front-loaded, or allocated at the beginning of the process, to help ensure the public adoption of ZEVs is not stymied by lack of infrastructure.
The plan also prioritizes medium- and heavy-duty infrastructure, including funding for infrastructure for 1,000 zero-emission school buses, 1,000 zero-emission transit buses, and 1,150 zero-emission drayage trucks. The plan also supports in-state ZEV manufacturing, workforce training and development, and near- and zero-emission fuel production.
The plan includes:
$314 million for light-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
$690 million for medium- and heavy-duty ZEV infrastructure (battery-electric and hydrogen).
$77 million for hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
$25 million for zero-and near-zero-carbon fuel production and supply.
$244 million for ZEV manufacturing.
$15 million for workforce training and development.
The funds will become available over the next two years and distributed to projects through a mix of competitive funding solicitations and direct funding agreements. The plan was guided by input from members of the Clean Transportation Program Advisory Committee, the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group, the state’s transportation and environmental agencies, and a broad range of stakeholders.
In response to engagement with these groups and others, the CEC remains committed to the goal of providing at least 50% of funds from this plan to projects that benefit priority populations, including low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Created by Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750) in 2007 and reauthorized by Assembly Bill 8 (Perea, Chapter 401, Statutes of 2013), the Clean Transportation Program is one of the first transportation-focused funding efforts established to help advance the state’s climate change policies. Now in its 13th year, the program has provided more than $1 billion to projects across the state covering a broad spectrum of alternative fuels and technologies. Program funding is currently scheduled to sunset in January 2024.
On 19 November, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will consider a complementary proposal for $1.5 billion in clean transportation incentives, including consumer vehicle rebates, and heavy-duty and off-road equipment investments.