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California offers up to $500,000 for purchases of zero-emissions equipment

California Air Resources Board and nonprofit Calstart advance incentive program to reduce emissions

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The California Air Resources Board CARB announced Monday it has $125 million in funding available through its Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) for point-of-sale discounts on purchases of zero-emissions equipment and vehicles, an effort to combat their comparatively high upfront costs.

Administered by clean transportation nonprofit Calstart, the project has more than double the amount allocated when it launched in January 2020.

Qualified zero-emission equipment includes:

  • On- and off-road terminal tractors.
  • Truck- and trailer-mounted transport refrigeration units.
  • Large forklifts and cargo-handling equipment.
  • Airport ground-support equipment.
  • Railcar movers and switcher locomotives.

Buyers of qualified equipment can receive up to $500,000 per vehicle or piece of equipment at the point of sale. Charging or refueling infrastructure or zero-emission equipment operated in disadvantaged communities may qualify for additional funding. Purchasers do not have to scrap, sell or retire existing equipment — a requirement for some incentive programs.

“The streamlined process incorporates feedback from program participants, and we are anticipating significant interest in this second round,” Niki Okuk, deputy director at Calstart, said in a release. “The industry is continuing its transition to zero-emissions and CORE provides a clear market signal that helps bring new products to the market.”

The first round of CORE resulted in more than 460 vouchers for vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment totaling over $62 million, according to Calstart. 

Terminal tractors were the most requested equipment type during the previous round of vouchers. Terminal tractors are considered a well-suited application for electric vehicles because there’s no range anxiety, and they can go back to the charging station at any time.

“California is backing up its commitment to clean the air in overburdened communities and carry out the direction of the Governor’s Executive Order with a significant investment in zero- emission vehicles and sustainable transportation,” CARB Deputy Executive Officer Craig Segall said in a statement. “CORE is specifically designed to assist industry sectors that currently use off-road equipment and can help clean up the communities hardest hit by air pollution.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.