SACRAMENTO - Have trucks in California? You'd better get to your dealer fast, because the California Hybrid Voucher Incentive Program is open for business. On February 4th, the landmark program officially opened. In the first 12 hours, about 25 percent of the program's $20 million in vouchers were requested.
All fleets with trucks operating in California are eligible for up to 100 vouchers each, on a first-come, first-served basis. With nearly $15 million still up for grabs, so it's not too late to claim your share.
The program, launched last week by the California Air Resources Board and administered by CALSTART, will provide $20 million in funding assistance for fleets to replace old diesel trucks with newer, cleaner hybrid trucks. Depending on the vehicle weight and model, the voucher amounts range from $10,000 to $45,000, including a $5,000 bonus for each participating fleet's first purchase. Details about participating in the program, approved dealers and eligible vehicles are available on the program website at www.californiahvip.org.
What sets the Hybrid Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) apart from other programs is that this is the nation's first voucher program, meaning that fleets receive the benefit at the point of sale. There are no applications to fill out or rebates to wait for; dealers throughout California have been trained and approved to fill out the necessary paperwork, request vouchers and take the savings off the sticker price of your new hybrid truck. Environmental Defense Fund applauds CARB for taking the needs of vehicle purchasers into account and hope HVIP's success can be a model for other states.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and soot on California's highways, the 800 hybrids expected to be sold through the program will boost our economy. In 2009, researchers at Duke University completed a study on the hybrid truck value chain. They found that the hybrid truck industry employs workers in at least 143 sites across the United States, in some of the cities hardest hit by the recession. HVIP will increase the total number of hybrid trucks on the road by about 50%. Now that's what I call job creation!
For more information on hybrid trucks and other opportunities to reduce emissions from corporate vehicles, visit the Fleet Vehicles section of EDF's website. There you can find a guide to incentive programs to support the purchase of hybrid trucks and track the makes and models of hybrid trucks currently available to fleets.