$44 million “CORE” project launches to speed deployment of zero-emission freight equipment at CA ports, rail yards, airports, warehouses and terminals to clean the air, reduce climate emissions

Zero-emission terminal tractors, railcar movers and transport refrigeration units displayed at Port of San Diego kickoff event; big point-of-sale incentives are available through voucher project


Jan. 31, 2020
CONTACT: Carina Daniels
[email protected]
(510) 847-1617

SAN DIEGO — The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today launched the Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) with the goal of cleaning up one of the state’s biggest economic sectors that is still reliant on heavy, fossil-fuel-powered equipment. CORE seeks to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission off-road freight equipment used at goods-movement hubs, including ports, distribution centers, airports, and rail yards.

“The launch of CORE represents an instrumental cost reduction program for zero-emission off-road freight technologies in our communities most burdened by air pollution,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who serves as a Board Member for CARB and the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.

CORE creates a streamlined, simplified process to provide businesses interested in buying or leasing zero-emission heavy-duty, off-road freight handling equipment to receive point-of-sale discounts of up to $500,000, all without requiring scrappage. CORE incentive vouchers significantly reduce the cost difference between traditional fossil fuel powered equipment and clean, zero-emission equipment. The project provides additional funding for buyers and lessees who deploy clean technology in communities overburdened by pollution (disadvantaged communities).

For buyers, using CORE’s incentives means that equipment with no pollution will cost about the same as the polluting alternatives,” said Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President of CALSTART, a national clean transportation non-profit organization that is the project administrator of CORE. “By helping users to buy clean equipment sooner we will boost earlier demand to increase volumes and reduce costs, as well as spur investment and innovation by manufacturers and keep California’s clean economy growing. CORE is good for the air and supports a new generation of jobs.”

Currently, the list of equipment eligible for CORE participation includes:

  • Airport cargo loaders
  • Container handling equipment
  • Forklifts (greater than 8000 lbs. lift capacity)
  • On- and off-road terminal tractors
  • Railcar movers
  • Rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTG)
  • Transport refrigeration units (TRUs)
  • Wide-body aircraft tugs
  • Mobile and ground power units
  • Cargo ship shore power cable systems

Starting Feb. 3, prospective buyers and lessees — such as freight operators, cargo airlines, wholesalers and retailers with distribution centers — will be able to shop from an online catalog of eligible off-road equipment at www.CaliforniaCORE.org. For customers, voucher incentives reduce the price at the point-of-sale making state-of-the-art equipment cost comparable to conventional technologies. Additional funding is available for infrastructure, such as chargers or hydrogen fueling. Manufacturers and dealers handle the paperwork, and CORE reimburses the vendors once equipment is delivered to customers.

CORE is part of California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution.

“As a champion of the environment, the Port of San Diego works closely with our working waterfront to help make their operations sustainable through cutting-edge technology like zero-emission off-road freight equipment,” said Port Chair Ann Moore. “The CORE voucher project is a wonderful opportunity for our maritime partners to advance their clean-air efforts for the benefit of all who live, work and play on and around San Diego Bay.”

In California, traditional fossil fuel-powered off-road equipment emits over five million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent every year — roughly the same amount of emissions produced by one million passenger vehicles driven for a full year. While goods movement hubs like ports, airports, distribution centers and rail yards are economic drivers, they have heavy equipment with long operating lives that are large emitters of pollution.

“This project will reduce air pollution from goods movement equipment and benefit our residents, especially those who live and work near San Diego’s ports,” said Robert Kard, Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. The area surrounding the port is one of ten California communities to be included in an air quality monitoring and cleanup program through CARB’s Community Air Protection Program.

CORE is based on CARB’s highly successful Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), a project that similarly offers point-of-sale vouchers on medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Now in its tenth year, HVIP has provided incentives for more than 7,000 trucks and buses including zero-emission, hybrid, and low NOx natural gas technologies. CALSTART administers HVIP and similar voucher incentive projects in the states of New York and Illinois.


About California Climate Investments

California Climate Investments is a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.  For more information, visit California Climate Investments. 

CALSTART | Changing transportation for good

A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 220+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry.

Visit us at www.CALSTART.org