California Air Resources Board Adopts New Funding Plan for Low-Carbon Transportation

Press Statement by David Reichmuth, Senior Engineer in the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jun 27, 2014


SACRAMENTO (June 26, 2014)—The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today approved a funding plan to encourage the continued deployment of clean vehicles over the next year that will provide consumers with more low-carbon transportation choices and help spread the use of clean technologies in disadvantaged communities.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) continues to support the state’s efforts to advance the production and deployment of zero- and near-zero emission cars, trucks, and buses that will drive down costs and spur adoption of clean transportation by businesses and individuals.

California’s 2014-15 budget provides $200 million from cap-and-trade auction proceeds to CARB to support low-carbon transportation projects that reduce global warming emissions.

CARB’s approved funding plan combines these low-carbon transportation investments with investments from its Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), which supports the development and commercialization of advanced technologies necessary to meet California’s air quality and climate goals.

Under the plan, $130 million will be allocated to light-duty vehicle pilot and incentive projects, most of which will support rebates to consumers who purchase or lease plug-in and fuel cell electric passenger cars and trucks. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project will provide purchase or lease incentives of $2,500 for battery-electric vehicles and $1,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. In addition, buyers of fuel-cell electric vehicles will be eligible for $5,000 rebates to support adoption of the fast-fueling zero emission vehicles.

The plan allocates an additional $85 million to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and freight movement. These funds will support purchase incentives for heavy-duty hybrid and electric trucks, as well as pilot demonstration programs for electric trucks, buses, and other freight movement vehicles and equipment. Nearly all of these funds ($80 million) will be disbursed to projects located in communities most impacted by heavy-duty truck and freight-related pollution.  UCS’s blog on the freight investment portion of the plan has additional details.

Below is a statement from David Reichmuth, senior engineer in the Clean Vehicles Program at UCS:

“California’s $200 million investment in clean vehicle technology for the coming year is an example of how the state’s climate policies are working to reduce pollution and global warming emissions. The funding plan adopted by the Air Resources Board supports the development and implementation of less-polluting and lower carbon transportation technologies while helping consumers and businesses spend less on fuel.

“UCS particularly applauds the inclusion of pilot projects that will help consumers in disadvantaged communities access these new clean vehicle technologies. In addition, increased funding to upgrade trucks, buses and freight transportation equipment will help clean up our air and benefit low-income communities located near congested freight movement corridors.

“The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project has been successful in catalyzing electric vehicle sales in California where more than 40 percent of the nation’s plug-in vehicles have been sold.  Maintaining current rebate amounts is important to driving sales forward as new models continue to roll out.  

“Cleaning up our transportation system is key to achieving our air quality and climate goals. Funding advanced transportation technology will take us farther down the road to a low-carbon future.”