Low Carbon Transportation Light-Duty Project Projects that Benefit Disadvantaged Communities

This page last reviewed July 24, 2015

Low Carbon Transportation investments are supported by California Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. Per statute these funds must be used to further the purposes of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32; Nuņez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006).  Each year, the legislature appropriates funding to ARB for low carbon transportation projects.  In June 2014, the Air Resources Board (ARB) approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-15 Funding Plan for the Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) and Low Carbon Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Fund (GGRF) Investments (FY 2014-15 Funding Plan), providing up to $9 million in funding for Light-Duty Pilot Projects.  Below is an overview of projects approved for FY 2014-15.

Car Sharing and Mobility Options in Disadvantaged Communities
Car sharing allows an individual to benefit from the use of a private automobile without the responsibility of car ownership costs. Staff is allocating funding to establish hybrid and advanced clean car sharing fleets and mobility options in disadvantaged communities to offer an alternate mode of transportation and encourage the use of clean cars.  The pilot will provide immediate emission reduction benefits and be used to gather data that could help support larger scale advanced technology car share programs. 

Vehicle Retirement and Replacement Plus-Up (also known as Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program Plus-Up)
This pilot program focuses on promoting advanced technology vehicle replacements (both new and used) by providing additional financial assistance for cleaner vehicles under the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP).  To determine a sustainable replacement vehicle solution for low-income participants in federal extreme non attainment areas (South Coast and San Joaquin Valley), staff believes that innovative approaches must be evaluated and tested.  Assistance includes increased incentive amounts, eligibility for used advanced technology vehicles, and alternative options, such as transit and car share subsidies.  Incentive amounts will be up to $5,000 for plug-in hybrid or zero-emission vehicles and up to $2,500 for conventional hybrid vehicles that are eight years old or newer at the time of purchase.  When coupled with EFMP, it is possible for a family that meets income guidelines to receive as much as $12,000 toward the purchase of an electric car.

Light-Duty Financing Assistance Programs
For some individuals, vehicle financing is a significant barrier to vehicle ownership.  Staff will be evaluating the feasibility of programs that provide financing assistance, such as a loan loss guarantee for financial institutions or programs that buy down interest rates for consumers, in order to improve financing options for low-income individuals interested in moving into a cleaner vehicle.  These programs may help some consumers that would not typically qualify for conventional financing to better afford an advanced technology vehicle.  Further, as more hybrids and advanced clean cars enter the used car market, financing assistance for used vehicles may help to increase the number of cleaner vehicles in disadvantaged communities.

Increased Incentives for Public Fleets in Disadvantaged Communities
Public fleets are not eligible for some incentives, such as the federal tax credit, to bring down the higher prices associated with advanced clean cars.  Rebates are available to public fleets located in or serving disadvantaged communities of up to $5,250 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, up to $10,000 for battery electric vehicles, and up to $15,000 for fuel cell electric vehicles.  The vehicles are required to operate in disadvantaged communities and the communities will experience the direct benefits of the vehicle operating on their roads. NOTE: This pilot project is being administered as a set aside within the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project .