The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved $US28 million ($AU37 million) in funding to support two popular state-wide incentive programs designed to accelerate the transition to cleaner vehicles.
The two Californian incentive programs are designed to target low-income and underserved communities, which are disproportionately impacted by harmful air pollutants and which are subject to heavy truck traffic.
According to the CARB, California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) provides incentives to purchase the cleanest medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and Clean Cars 4 All incentivizes lower-income California drivers to scrap their older, high-polluting cars and replace them with zero-emission, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid vehicles.
Both vehicle-purchase programs are designed to help businesses and individuals make the switch to clean vehicles while helping to grow the market for these technologies.
The transportation sector is easily California’s largest source of air pollution and emissions, and the primary source of air pollution in communities that are located adjacent to ports, rail yards, distribution centres, and goods movement corridors.
All of which suffer from high levels of diesel pollution, but which are also often home to millions of low-income residents and underserved communities.
“It’s critical that we clean up the way we move people and goods and these investments will help accelerate that change,” said Mary D. Nichols, California Air Resources Board Chair.
“These programs will help remove the dirtiest cars and trucks from our roads and highways and provide access to the cleanest vehicles for low-income families, and California communities hardest hit by pollution.”
Funding for the two vehicle-purchase programs is being sourced from California’s Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). Of the $US28 million in AQIP funding, $25 million will go towards the HVIP program and another $3 million for the Clean Cars 4 All program.
The HVIP program provides point-of-sale reductions on zero-emission trucks and buses and has so far provided vouchers for fleets to buy more than 7,500 zero-emission (“and other”) clean trucks and buses.
More than two-thirds of the vehicles purchased through the HVIP program are operating in disadvantaged and low-income communities. Vehicles from two dozen manufacturers are included in the HVIP program, including several big rig trucks.
Meanwhile, the Clean Cars 4 All program has so far scrapped over 9,500 old cars and replaced them with new or used zero-emission, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid vehicle