Project Background for Advanced Technology Demonstration and Pilot Projects
Advanced Technology Demonstration and Pilot Projects are uniquely designed to take advantage of emerging opportunities. These projects are intended to accelerate the introduction of advanced emission reducing technologies that are on the cusp of commercialization into the California marketplace. Projects can utilize technologies in the demonstration phase or those already commercialized in larger scale deployments that align with the state’s goals to reduce emissions.
Since the inception of the program in 2009, new and exciting projects have demonstrated advanced vehicles, equipment and vessels that have graduated into commercialization, with widespread adoption happening now for many technologies, such as zero-emission yard tractors and zero-emission school buses. Zero-emission on-road heavy-duty trucks are now market-ready, and with steady advancements in infrastructure capability and battery capacity, the range of duty cycles for these trucks is expanding rapidly. Facility-wide transformations towards zero-emission are showcasing the economic and environmental benefits of heavy-duty vehicles and equipment in a more holistic way.
Guiding Legislation/Policy Drivers
Demonstration projects help to accelerate the introduction of advanced technologies into California by pushing technology advancement toward commercialization. In this first phase of California Air Resources Board (CARB) investments per-vehicle or equipment incentives are high because manufacturing is not standardized and is focused on developing and testing technologies with businesses. Higher levels of incentives per vehicle are needed to help companies cover the costs of technology development, deployment, and support infrastructure installations.
A public investment in these technologies helps to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, as well as criteria pollutant and toxic air contaminant reductions sooner than would be possible otherwise. This commitment from the state encourages industry to expeditiously invent, develop, test, and introduce cutting-edge emission reducing technologies in the on- and off-road sectors. All funded projects must have the potential for widespread commercialization and be significantly transformative while achieving GHG, criteria pollutant, and toxic emission reductions as required by SB 1204, SB 1403, and AB 2285 with nearly all of the funding being spent in priority populations. Once demonstration projects reach the goal of market availability, longer term future emission reductions in considerably larger magnitudes can be achieved by moving these technologies to the pilot phase of commercialization. That is happening now with the joint CARB and California Energy Commission (CEC) drayage truck pilot project, which has awarded funds for 280 zero-emission heavy-duty trucks, with many of those being deployed in 2023.
These types of projects are important sources of data on vehicle and infrastructure performance and showcase the technologies for other end users of similar vehicles or equipment, increasing the potential for accelerated emission reductions in disadvantaged communities where many freight operations are located. Demonstration and pilot projects by their nature include workforce training elements. This is needed to support the deployment of advanced technology vehicles and equipment at an end-user fleet. All funded projects are required to have workforce training component to ensure that workers are prepared to use and service all advanced technology vehicles, equipment, and infrastructure.
$401 million has been allocated to support 32 separate projects with an additional $175 million in the solicitation phase, including an additional $50 million from the CEC that is currently underway with ten eligible project categories FY 2021-2022 and FY 2022-2023.
* Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
** Transportation Corridor Enhancement Account
Recent Project/Policy Changes
- Bringing on board a third-party administrator to assist CARB in program implementation and outreach
- Increase in administrative fee for technical grantees up to 8% of the award amount
- Ratio of match requirement in projects reduced for small and micro businesses to accommodate for smaller business sizes
All current and past projects with final reports.