SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board announced today an additional $72.5 million in funding for state programs that will improve public health by helping to clean up California’s fleet of cars, trucks and buses. Heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and buses are a major source of highly toxic pollutants as well as emissions that cause global warming.
“The incentive programs provide critical early investments needed to accelerate the transformation of California’s car, truck and bus fleets to the cleanest advanced technologies,” Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey said. “The Truck Loan Assistance Program complements these long-term investments by providing truckers additional access to loans, helping clean up the legacy fleet of older, higher-polluting diesel trucks.”
The Air Resources Board today voted to move $8 million from other clean vehicle projects into ARB’s Truck Loan Assistance Program. Additionally, the board was briefed on additional funding the Legislature recently made available for clean car, truck and bus programs. Funding was approved for three specific programs.
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project received an influx of $44.5 million to help California consumers purchase plug-in hybrid and zero-emission cars and light trucks. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project provides individuals, nonprofits, government entities and businesses a rebate of up to $2,500 on a first-come, first-served basis. This can be combined with an up to $7,500 clean vehicle federal tax credit and various other regional incentives. More than 33,000 rebates have been issued since the program launched in 2010, and consumer demand has surged to about 2,500 rebates per month.
Funding for this year’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project was increased by $10 million to $15 million. This program provides vouchers of up to $55,000 to help California fleets purchase cleaner, advanced technology trucks and buses. Since its inception in 2010, the program has helped deploy more than 1,600 hybrid and electric trucks and buses in California. ARB expects vouchers to become available at participating dealerships beginning this December.
ARB’s Truck Loan Assistance Program received an additional $18 million to help small business fleet owners finance truck upgrades required under the ARB’s In-Use Truck and Bus Regulation. The program has leveraged state funds to provide about $210 million in private financing since 2009 to help truck owners purchase cleaner trucks, exhaust retrofits and truck efficiency upgrades. With this additional funding, the program will continue to support small business truck owners to gain access to cleaner trucks. The Truck Loan Assistance Program is implemented in partnership with the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.
The rebate and voucher incentive programs are designed to accelerate the number of advanced-technology vehicles purchased. This, in turn, increases production volumes and brings down the cost of these vehicles, making them more affordable for all consumers. They work together with the increased access to loans for trucks to deliver the broadest range of clean transportation and freight technologies California needs to meet federal air quality standards and state climate change goals.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.