SACRAMENTO – Today the Air Resources Board launched a $20 million funding assistance program designed to spur the purchase of hybrid trucks and buses that reduce smog-forming pollution and address climate change.
Funding incentives range from $10,000 to $45,000 and each vehicle purchaser, regardless of the size of their fleet, is limited to a maximum of 100 vouchers and is expected to put up to 800 vehicles on the road on a first-come, first-served basis. ARB created the financial incentive program from AB 118 funding to help Californians purchase cleaner, but more costly hybrid vehicles.
“California is taking an aggressive approach to getting lower-polluting vehicles on the road more quickly,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “This will accelerate our progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and reaching our climate change reduction goals.”
Hybrid vehicle technology can reduce truck and bus emissions by 20 to 50 percent, including gases that contribute to global warming. Hybrid vehicles also reduce smog-forming emissions while saving vehicle owners money in reduced fuel costs.
The program cuts about half the cost of purchasing road-ready hybrid trucks and buses, helping owners buy cleaner, newer technology sooner. The program is expected to put up to 800 vehicles on the road on a first come, first serve basis and spur U.S. manufacturing and technology jobs, bolstering American companies that are leaders in heavy-duty hybrid technology.
ARB has partnered with CALSTART to administer the program. Eligibility is based on the purchase of selected hybrid vehicles and fleet owners must agree to register and operate the vehicle in California for three years. Dealers, manufactures and fleet owners can learn more about the program at californiahvip.org.
The program will also help achieve the goals of the state’s Climate Change Scoping Plan that requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 with clean alternative fuels. Transportation accounts for 40 percent of the total emissions of climate changing gases.
Smog has been 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. Diesel particulate matter contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing substances, linking it to premature death, cancer and other health problems.
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. The CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.