The California Energy Commission approved $678,889 to projects that will boost the number of alternative-fuel vehicles on the state’s roadways.

The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. For the current fiscal year, the program is slated to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels, to help the state meet its climate change goals. It is paid for through surcharges on vehicle and boat registrations, and smog check and license plate fees.

These awards also help to fulfill Gov. Brown’s executive order directing state government to support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California, with a target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on California roadways by 2025. The awards are funded through surcharges on vehicle and boat registrations, and smog check and license plate fees.

The state’s investments in these projects are safeguarded by matching fund requirements for awardees, and by making payments on a reimbursement basis, after invoices are reviewed and approved.

The award recipients are:  

Upland Unified School District was awarded $278,889 to update its compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station. This upgrade will allow the district to expand its fleet of CNG buses. Compared to older conventional petroleum-fueled buses, these buses produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, improving the environment and reducing passenger exposure to harmful pollutants. Upland is located in San Bernardino County. 

Greenkraft, Inc., was awarded $400,000 in buy-down incentives for 40 medium-duty propane trucks in the gross vehicle weight range of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds. Greenkraft is an automotive manufacturer and distributor based in Anaheim (Orange County).

These incentives help to pay the difference between alternative-fuel vehicles and conventional vehicles. They are available only for new natural gas and propane vehicles that meet all the emission requirements of the California Air Resources Board.

The buy-down incentives are reserved for vehicle manufacturers or their designated dealers and passed on to buyers in California at the time of sale. To receive the incentives, buyers must agree to register and operate the vehicles in California at least 90 percent of the time for three years.