CALIFORNIA OPENS VW MITIGATION TRUST FOR ZERO EMISSION BUSES
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that the application period is now open for Volkswagen Mitigation Trust funding under the Zero-Emission Transit, School and Shuttle Bus Project, which provides funding for new zero-emission replacement buses. A total of $130 million is available in California from the VW Mitigation Trust for zero-emission buses, with $65 million open in this first round of funding.
Applications will be selected on a first come, first served basis, and eligible applicants are owners of transit buses, school buses and shuttle buses. Battery-electric transit buses and electric school buses are eligible for funding, with up to $180,000 available per transit bus and up to $400,000 available per school bus.
California is a pioneer in the adoption of zero-emission transportation and has unveiled several initiatives for the transition to zero-emission bus fleets. In December 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted the Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation with a unanimous vote in favour, requiring state public transit agencies to transition to 100 percent zero-emission buses by 2040. For this California has made available $450 million in grants to help fund rail and bus investments made by public agencies under the California Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). Procurement of electric buses, charging systems, and associated electric bus infrastructure are eligible projects under this program, as well as leasing electric buses and/or batteries. The Californian bus manufacture Proterra is recently choosen as a vendor for the program.
The deadline to submit proposals for awards is January 16, 2020. Further, Governor Gavin Newsom also recently signed Assembly Bill 784 which allows zero-emission buses purchased in California to be exempt from state sales tax until January 1, 2024. This initiative will help advance the deployment of zero-emission buses in California.