The California Air Resources Board (CARB), along with CALSTART Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and SunLine Transit Agency, celebrated both the first state voucher to support the purchase of a hydrogen electric fuel-cell bus, and the 10-year anniversary of the program that has put almost 4,000 ultra-clean buses and trucks onto California streets and highways.
The incentive state discount voucher program (HVIP, or Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project) offers deep discounts on clean vehicles to small business owners and transit agencies, as well as large fleet owners and managers who want to get advanced technology buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles on the road in California.
“HVIP has played a crucial role in accelerating heavy-duty battery-electric technology and the development of engines with almost undetectable levels of smog-forming pollution,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. “The program has also served to accelerate ultra-clean truck and bus technologies, supporting their commercialization and early market success. That puts thousands of the cleanest trucks and buses onto our streets and highways much sooner, especially in the communities that need them most.”
SunLine is the first fleet to request and redeem an HVIP discount for a hydrogen electric fuel-cell vehicle, purchasing and deploying five ElDorado fuel-cell transit buses. The agency subsequently received voucher support for four BYD battery electric buses. Starting in 2018, the buses were put into service throughout the Coachella Valley.
Combined with five New Flyer hydrogen fuel-cell buses purchased in 2017 under a different CARB program, SunLine’s 14 newest ultra-clean buses are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4,000 metric tons annually.
From the inception of HVIP in 2009, more than $447 million has been allocated to the program. Through May 2019, HVIP has committed to supporting the purchase of 2,500 zero-emission trucks and buses; over 2,600 hybrid trucks; over 1,800 low NOx engines; and 195 trucks outfitted with electric power take-off systems with vouchers requested by California fleets.
The investment will bring the total number of ultra-clean trucks and buses operating on California’s roadways to more than 7,000 over the next two years with more on the way, as demand for vouchers continues to grow. Additionally, the program has helped more than 1,100 California fleets buy cleaner vehicles.