The California Air Resources Board recently approved a revised $363 million funding plan that includes $150 million for heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment, aimed at putting more clean vehicles in disadvantaged communities.
The revised plan for fiscal year 2016-2017 keeps much of the original funding intact while addressing the smaller budget appropriation of $363 million under AB 1613 and additional direction from the California legislature.
“The investment of $360 million from our cap-and-trade program for these low-carbon transportation projects will continue to drive the market for new technologies, and put more ultra-clean and zero-emission trucks, buses and cars into the communities throughout California that need them the most,” said Mary D. Nichols, CARB chair.
The $150 million for a range of heavy-duty vehicle and off-road equipment includes funding for advanced technology demonstration projects and zero-emission buses for transit agencies and rural school districts.
Also included is a voucher incentive project to encourage commercial deployment of hybrid, low-NOx and zero-emission trucks, buses and engines, and large-scale pilot projects to commercialize zero-emission trucks and buses.
CARB also voted to increase the maximum incentive amount for the Low NOx Engine Incentives with renewable fuel to $25,000 per truck. In total, these heavy-duty investments are aimed at bringing the cleanest trucks and buses to California’s most impacted communities, transportation corridors, and freight hubs.
Low-income residents often live in areas of California that are most affected by air pollution, which is why the investments are aimed at disadvantaged communities. The revised version of the plan doubles the funding for scrap-and-replace pilot projects that could allow residents of low-income communities to afford cleaner vehicles.
The increase will ensure that existing programs in the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast air districts will have funding beyond the fiscal year and provides for the expansion of similar programs to other interested air districts.