California invests $2.6 billion in decarbonising transport

In the USA, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a $2.6 billion investment plan for the state’s transition to zero-emission transportation. The projects that have been supported range from incentives for cleaner trucks and buses and mobility options such as bike- and car-sharing to consumer rebates for clean cars.

The investment in clean transport amounts to $2.2 billion for clean trucks and buses, as well as off-road equipment, and $381 million for clean transportation equity projects. In both cases, CARB has said it has focussed on underserved communities, including low-income communities and those disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution, as well as small truck fleets. The $2.6 billion investment is part of the expanded $10 billion ZEV package, revealed in January this year, when California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled expanded plans for investment in electric mobility. The US state committed to an investment of an additional 6.1 billion US dollars in electric vehicles and infrastructure.

G0vernor Newsome said: “This $2.6 billion investment will make it more affordable for our communities to transition to zero-emission vehicles,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “This move, and the rest of the $10 billion ZEV package we enacted, will provide the cost-saving incentives people need to make the transition — part of our overall $54 billion California Climate Commitment. These collective efforts are exactly how we will phase out new gas-powered cars by 2035.” According to CARB, the transportation sector is the state’s largest source of air pollution and climate-changing gases.

The new program of projects includes subsidies for low-income consumers to purchase electric cars with up to $15,ooo in incentives without having to scrap an older vehicle and $19,500 when an old car can be scrapped, which is an increase of $3000 in comparison to the current incentive levels.

Other changes to the program include small fleet support that should encourage “large-scale deployments of zero-emission trucks in disadvantaged communities,” according to CARB. At the same time, $60 million has been set aside for cleaner commercial harbour craft.

According to CARB, investments from the Californian government has so far put more than 400,000 zero-emission cars, trucks, transit buses, school buses and freight equipment into operation in California. Earlier this month, California adopted a $1 billion program for EV charging infrastructure. The program functions through the provision of rebates for customers (“behind the meter”). At the same time, EV infrastructure investments will be made at commercial, industrial, and residential sites beginning in 2025.


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