SACRAMENTO – Today the California Air Resources Board announced $3.7 million in rebates for zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicle rebates for California drivers as part of an overall $42.3 million program that Governor Schwarzenegger approved in 2007 to spur technological innovation in the transportation sector.
The rebates offer up to $5,000 for the purchase of zero-emission and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles and up to $20,000 for the purchase of ARB-certified or approved zero-emission commercial vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding for the program comes from a dedicated revenue stream that draws from smog abatement, vehicle registration, and vessel registration fees.
“These rebates will make cleaner cars more affordable for California consumers and give businesses and local governments an incentive to add advanced vehicles to their fleets,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “The monies get innovative vehicle technologies on the road more quickly so California can meet its clean air and climate change goals.”
Rebates are available to individuals, business owners and government entities in California that purchase or lease new eligible zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric light-duty vehicles now. Eligible vehicles are cars, trucks, commercial medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, motorcycles or neighborhood electric vehicles.
In October 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 118 which provides approximately $200 million annually through 2015 to the California Energy Commission, the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the ARB to fund air quality improvement projects that will accelerate clean engine technologies. ARB was appropriated approximately $42.3 million to fund air quality improvement programs that will pay for cleaner equipment such as hybrid truck and buses, zero-emission and plug-in hybrid cars, and motorcycles. The amount of funding available to pay for these technologies is dependent on the amount of revenues generated from vehicle and smog abatement fees.
Cars and trucks account for over half of the emissions that contribute to ozone and particulate matter as well as about 30 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in California. Zero-emission vehicles and near-zero emission vehicles are a key element of California's plan for attaining health-based air quality as required in the federal Clean Air Act.
Exhaust from cars and trucks have been known to exacerbate a variety of conditions such as lung and heart disease, and asthma, and even contribute to premature death. Cleaner vehicles reduce California smog and climate change emissions, and save consumers money.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.