California Hybrid Truck, Bus Voucher Project Unveils Web Site

A ground-breaking California project designed to spur the purchase and use of medium- and heavy-duty hybrids has officially launched with the unveiling of its informational website: supports the California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). It will provide all HVIP details and requirements, and be the electronic portal used in 2010 to request vouchers that help pay for advanced, clean hybrid trucks and buses.

HVIP is managed by CALSTART and sponsored by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). As part of the launch, CALSTART also announced that special HVIP training sessions for truck dealers and fleets will commence in January. The training will help dealers and fleets prepare for requesting vouchers. Details are on the website.

ARB created the nearly $20 million HVIP to speed the market introduction of low-emitting hybrid trucks and buses by reducing the up-front cost of these vehicles for fleets that purchase and operate them in California. The HVIP voucher is intended to reduce about half the incremental cost of purchasing hybrid heavy-duty trucks and buses.

The vouchers will be available starting at the end of January 2010 on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified dealers and their fleet customers. To qualify, dealers must successfully complete training and sign the Terms and Conditions. The vouchers will range from $10,000 to $45,000 and each fleet is limited to a maximum of 100 vouchers.

Hybrid trucks and buses have been shown in testing to reduce both greenhouse gases and fuel use by 20-50 percent, depending on the vehicle and its application. Some hybrids are showing even greater reductions, especially when combining reductions from turning off the engine at work sites and at stops, incorporating advanced designs, and including low-carbon fuels.

“HVIP is an exciting project that could lead to the introduction of as many as 800 hybrid trucks and buses on California’s roads, a nearly 50 percent increase in volume for these vehicles in the early market,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART, which is implementing the project on ARB’s behalf after winning a competitive grant solicitation. “We hope HVIP becomes a model for how to spur the faster adoption of clean, low-carbon vehicles nationwide.”

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