Air Board Approves $40 Million in Additional Funding for Clean Vehicles
SACRAMENTO - Today the Air Resources Board approved up to $40 million for the third year of funding to promote the purchase of next-generation clean cars, trucks and off-road equipment.
Californians will be able to use vouchers or rebates on a first-come, first-served basis toward the purchase of zero-emission or plug-in hybrid cars, and zero-emission or hybrid trucks and buses.
“This money is going to put thousands of ultra-clean vehicles on our roads within the year,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “That means better air quality sooner, and real progress in making a dent in our dependence on petroleum.”
The Board directed staff to provide the following funding:
• $15 million to $21 million for continued funding of consumer rebates of up to $2,500 toward the purchase of zero-emission or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles;
• $11million to $16 million to continue providing vouchers for California businesses to buy lower-emitting and fuel-efficient hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses; and,
• $2 million to $3 million toward promising locomotive, truck, and bus technology demonstration projects needed for California to meet its long-term air quality goals.
This is the third year of the Air Quality Improvement Program, established by AB 118 (2007, Nunez), that invests in critical new emission-reduction technologies. In its first two years, the program funded approximately 2,000 zero-emission passenger vehicles and over 1,000 hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses, totaling $58 million. Funding for these programs is generated from expected revenues from smog abatement, vehicle and vessel registration fees. Since funding levels are not yet known exactly, the Board ad range of funding from these sources.
The passenger vehicle rebates and truck and bus vouchers have proven to be extremely popular with California consumers. A waitlist has been established for zero-emission or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicle rebates to ensure that the additional rebates will be distributed fairly on a first-come, first-served basis in the fall.
AB 118 funding also provides about $100 million annually to the California Energy Commission for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote fuel diversity, and up to $30 million annually to the Bureau of Automotive Repair for voluntary passenger vehicle scrappage programs. Unless reauthorized, AB 118 and its programs will sunset in 2015.
Smog is known to exacerbate a variety of cardiovascular and respiratory conditions such as heart disease and asthma, and diesel particulate matter was listed as toxic in 1998. ARB is the lead agency for implementing AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and is part of an administration-wide effort to address climate change and mitigate the most severe projected impacts of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide. ARB has worked to reduce diesel emissions by 85 percent and reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.
For more information on the program and how to apply for a voucher or rebate, visit http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aqip/aqip.htm
For information on buying the cleanest, most fuel efficient cars on the market, visit the DriveClean website at http://www.driveclean.ca.gov/