The California Energy Commission has announced further funding of $8,554,000 “to help bring natural gas and propane-powered shuttle buses, cars and trucks to California’s roadways” as part of the agency’s AB 118-authorized Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
The CEC funding “will help pay the difference between a conventional gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle and one powered by a much cleaner alternative fuel,” said commissioner Carla Peterman.
“Individual consumers as well as public and private fleet operators can benefit from this funding, which could put as many as 357 new natural gas-powered vehicles and 110 propane-powered vehicles into service in California,” she said.
Coupled with the low cost of compressed natural gas, the AB 118 money “will give our California based dealers a pricing advantage to enter the market with our new line of green alternative fueled line of cab forward trucks,” said Frank Ziegler, sales director at Santa Ana-based Greenkraft. “We thank the California Energy Commission for its forward thinking,” Ziegler said.
Nearly $1.6 Million for A-Z Bus
Greenkraft has been awarded $400,000 for the buy-down of 20 natural gas vehicles of the 14,001-to-26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight range. The firm is promoting a line of propane- and natural gas-fueled vehicles, including trucks from JAC, China’s Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Company, in which it installs 6.0-liter GM engines (F&F, January 2 and January 30).
CEC says that for efficiency’s sake, incentive reservations are awarded in blocks to vehicle manufacturers or their designated dealers. Incentives are passed on to the individual buyers at the point of sale.
Among this month’s larger CEC recipients, A-Z Bus Sales (Colton, Calif.) was awarded $500,000 for the buy-down of 25 propane-fueled school buses and $384,000 for 12 large natural gas buses, all manufactured by Blue Bird.
A-Z is also receiving $500,000 for the buy-down of 25 propane school buses by Collins Bus, and $200,000 for 10 natural gas buses manufactured by Arboc Specialty Vehicles.
Arata Equipment (for American LaFrance) of San Carlos and the out-of-state manufacturers Autocar, Crane Carrier, Kenworth, and Peterbilt were each awarded $884,000 to help buy down 34 natural gas fueled trucks apiece.
Among this month’s smaller CEC awardees are Towne Ford of Redwood City, Big Valley Ford of Stockton, Hansel Ford of Santa Rosa, Serramonte Ford of Colma, Galpin Motors of North Hills, Tuttle-Click Ford of Irvine, Bonander Buick GMC of Turlock, and American Honda – $198,000 for 66 Honda Civic Natural Gas sedans.
Purchasers agree to operate their vehicles in California on the alternative fuel at least 90% of the time for three years.
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