CARB’s New Off-Road Program

By Mike Brezonick06 August 2019

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced a new incentive program intended to accelerate deployment of cleaner off-road technologies by providing a streamlined way for fleets ready to purchase specific zero-emission equipment to receive funding to offset the higher cost.

The Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) is analogous to the the agency’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) but will specifically target zero-emission off-road freight equipment that is currently in the early stages of commercial deployment.

“Forward-thinking, savvy business owners will want to take advantage of CORE because it will enable them to replace their dirty older equipment and get the cleanest, most advanced models available for about the same price as the diesel- or gas-powered version,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard W. Corey.  “The result is equipment that saves businesses on fuel costs and has zero tailpipe emissions—a winner for the pocketbook and the community,”

The program will cover a wide range of equipment, such as:

– On- and off-road terminal tractors.

– Transport refrigeration units.

– Forklifts (greater than 8000 lb. lift capacity).

– Container handling equipment.

– Airport cargo loaders.

– Wide-body aircraft tugs.

– Railcar movers.

– Rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes.

Other equipment categories may be added in the future, the agency said. Equipment eligibility criteria and manufacturer application guidelines are currently under development.  Stakeholders will be able to comment on these project elements and others at an upcoming work group meeting to be scheduled later in August and beyond.

To obtain CORE discounts, business owners will work with CORE-approved dealers to choose the appropriate equipment. Buyers will receive the discount at the point of sale. The dealer then submits a CORE voucher request form on behalf of the buyer and is reimbursed once all required paperwork is provided and the new zero-emission equipment is delivered to the buyer. Funds for the new program are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A business owner could receive $180,000 to cover the difference between a zero-emission tractor and one that is powered by diesel, CARB said. The program also encourages deployment of cleaner technology in disadvantaged communities by providing up to 10% higher incentives for zero-emission equipment that will be used in those areas.  Awards can’t exceed $500,000 per machine, the agency said.

CARB approved CORE (originally named the Zero-Emission Off-Road Freight Voucher Incentive Project) in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives in December 2017 with a funding allocation of $40 million.

A grant administrator has been recently selected for CORE.  A work group meeting will be scheduled in the coming weeks to give stakeholders additional opportunity to provide feedback on project elements. 

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