CA Lawmakers Back Greater Investment in Clean Trucks & Buses, Best Use of Climate Funds to Improve Air Quality

June 4, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif – Seventeen California Assembly members are backing a call from CALSTART to create multi-year funding to invest in clean transportation technologies and put more clean trucks, buses and other large vehicles on California roads and worksites.

The lawmakers have signed a letter of support to the Assembly budget committee leadership asking that 15 percent of revenues from California’s annual cap-and-trade auction through the year 2025 be allocated to fund the California Clean Truck, Bus and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program (SB 1204 Program). The program provides funding for fleets to buy trucks and for manufacturers to invest in next generation zero-emission big rigs, other trucks and buses. Sixty-percent of the clean trucks and buses funded by the program operate in disadvantaged communities and help to reduce harmful air pollution.

“Of the many ways the legislature is proposing to spend the cap-and-trade funding, the clean truck and bus program has the most benefit for disadvantaged communities. With this funding, we are quickly replacing trucks and buses that pollute with super clean ones, a growing percentage of which don’t even have tailpipes,” said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel.

In addition to providing air quality benefits, CALSTART sees opportunities to build the state’s manufacturing economy. Currently more than 2,000 people are employed in California building, delivering, and servicing advanced clean trucks and buses.

“California can become a global leader in the advanced clean truck and bus market if it would make a multi-year commitment of funds for purchase incentives and advanced truck demonstration projects. Multi-year funding would send a strong signal that would result in greater private sector investment and innovation in California,” said Boesel.

The letter states that “multi-year funding is essential to develop and deploy new, cost-effective technologies.” Adding that “our communities demand solutions that provide immediate short-term relief to our air pollution burdens while developing a longer-term transformation of the transportation sector. The SB 1204 Program provides a well-balanced environmental and economic solution that every community can benefit from, and we must continue to support the industry with the funding needed to achieve such outcomes.”

Assembly members leading this effort include:

  • Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda)
  • Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto)
  • Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood_
  • Tom Daly (D-Anaheim)
  • Susan Eggman (D-Stockton)
  • Jim Frazier (D-Oakley)
  • Adam Gray (D-Merced)
  • Tim Grayson (D-Concord)
  • Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles)
  • Jose Medina (D-Riverside)
  • Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach)
  • Eloise Reyes (D-Grand Terrace)
  • Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona)
  • Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park)
  • Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield)
  • Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles)
  • Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland)

Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has also been leading the charge in the state Senate for increased and multi-year funding for clean trucks, buses and other large vehicles.

“In order to meet our air quality and climate mandates, we will need to rapidly deploy near- and zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and some fleets must be fully zero-emission in the next five-to-ten years,” said Boesel. “These lawmakers are demonstrating economic and climate leadership by championing the critical investments needed to transform our transportation sector quickly with an eye toward supporting fleets and transit agencies and cleaning up our air quality in disadvantaged communities.”

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A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California, CALSTART partners with 210+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock out barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.

MEDIA CONTACT: ROXANNA SMITH, RSMITH@CALSTART.ORG, (626)744-5609 or (510) 326-0390