CARB OKs $42 million to fund clean engine technologies

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The California Air Resources Board on Friday, April 24, approved $42 million in AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program projects that will accelerate the commercialization of on-road and off-road clean engine technologies.

Beginning this fall, Californians will be able to use these grants toward the purchase of zero-emissions or hybrid engine technologies that they otherwise may not have been able to afford. CARB says these technologies will help California meet its long-term air quality and climate change goals.

“These grants will help introduce the next generation of clean vehicles and equipment into California so that we get a step closer to energy efficiency and break away from dependence on oil,” says CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “We’ll all enjoy cleaner air and improved health as a result.”

All interested Californians can participate in the following funding assistance programs to purchase new commercially available technologies for the 2009-10 fiscal year by contacting CARB. The four projects are:

  • $25 million for hybrid trucks and buses;
  • $5 million for zero-emissions and plug-in hybrid cars and motorcycles;
  • $2 million for lawn and garden equipment that will augment air districts existing replacement programs; and
  • $1.3 million for zero-emissions agricultural equipment.
  • The Air Quality Improvement Program also will fund demonstration projects that will focus on promising technologies not yet in wide production. The five projects are:

  • $2 million for the production of locomotives that emit lower amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter;
  • $1 million for hybrid marine vessels;
  • $3 million for zero-emissions or plug-in hybrid transit and school buses in addition to retrofits;
  • $2 million for hybrid off-road equipment and retrofits such as vehicles used in construction, mining and airport ground support; and
  • $1 million for hybrid off-road agricultural equipment and retrofits, including tractors and agricultural pumps.
  • Also approved by CARB were guidelines to delineate how it will run this new financial assistance program to ensure efficiency and public input. The guidelines establish requirements for such areas as program administration, oversight and accountability, reporting and procedures for developing project solicitation and project selection.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger provided funding for alternative fuels and clean vehicle technologies by signing AB 118 into law in October 2007. Last week, the California Energy Commission adopted an investment plan that provides $176 million over the next two years to fund programs that promote these new technologies. Smog abatement, vehicle and vessel registration fees will pay for these programs.

    The programs will help achieve the objectives of the recently adopted Low Carbon Fuel Standard intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify the state’s fuel supply. For more information, click here.

    CARB certifies Navistar hybrids

    Navistar says it became the first truck and bus manufacturer to receive total hybrid vehicle certification from CARB for improving fuel economy and overall emissions. The company says it receive total vehicle certification because of its integration of an optimized engine and hybrid system for the International DuraStar Hybrid box van and utility truck, and the IC Bus CE Series hybrid bus.

    Purchasers of commercial hybrid vehicles under CARB’s program will receive incentives ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 per vehicle depending on weight class. In addition, purchasers of CARB-certified DuraStar Hybrid models and IC Bus hybrid buses will receive vouchers worth another $5,000 per vehicle under the incentive.

    “This is a win-win for everyone in California,” says Jack Allen, North American truck group president for Navistar, based in Warrenville, Ill. “By working together, we created the opportunity to put more clean diesel hybrid trucks and buses on California’s roads, and we’re proud that Navistar’s hybrid leadership directly puts money back in our customers’ pockets.”