California announces $3.6 billion to expand clean transportation in underserved communities

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California Construction News staff writer

Two major projects will receive $3.6 billion for clean transportation infrastructure and vehicle purchase incentives.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) in November approved a $2.6 billion to support ZEV projects, with 70% of the funds going to disadvantaged and low-income communities – the state’s largest-ever investment in the equitable expansion of clean transportation.

Also, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a $1 billion transportation electrification program to fund ZEV charging infrastructure, with additional incentives for projects in hard-to-reach communities

CPUC’s transportation electrification program provides a unified policy-driven funding structure for utility transportation electrification efforts statewide through 2030, and prioritizes investments in charging infrastructure for low-income, tribal and underserved utility customers.

The program will direct 70% of funding to charging for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles, which are responsible for a disproportionate share of air pollutants from the transportation sector, and will offer rebates for customer side electric vehicle infrastructure investments. Higher rebates will be available for projects in underserved, disadvantaged and tribal communities to ensure charging infrastructure reaches these hard-to-reach communities.

“These bold investments to provide cost-saving incentives and expand access to ZEV charging infrastructure in all our communities bring us that much closer to making our clean transportation future a reality in California,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

Funding will come from the $10 billion ZEV package included in the multi-year $54 billion California Climate Commitment, including:

$2.2 billion for clean trucks and buses and off-road equipment, including more than $2 billion for zero-emission trucks and buses and off-road equipment including school buses, transit buses, and drayage trucks, $33 million for financing for small truck fleets transitioning to cleaner technologies, and $135 million for demonstration and pilot projects, including commercial harbor craft.

Small fleet support with tiered voucher amounts to increase support for small fleets while encouraging early adoption of zero-emission technologies and large-scale deployments of zero-emission trucks in disadvantaged communities.

Electric vehicles are one of California’s top exports and the state is home to 43 ZEV-related manufacturers. ZEVs comprise 18 percent of all new vehicles sold in California.

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