Green Fleet

MEMA Meeting Focuses on Alt-Fuel Plans & Grant Funding

July 20, 2012

Fleet managers at the MEMA meeting July 19.
Fleet managers at the MEMA meeting July 19.

PASADENA, CA – At a meeting of the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA) on July 19, Susan Romeo, director of marketing and communications for Calstart, explained what types of services the organization can provide to fleets.

While the United States is struggling with mandates for more fuel-efficient vehicles, other nations have embraced fuel-efficient technologies, and Calstart can help fleets develop a strategic alternative-fuel fleet plan, Romeo said. She provided an overview of ways to achieve this in the meeting. To start, she said fleets must understand how they use current vehicles in order to phase in new technology. Additionally, they must find a combination of strategies that will fit their specific fleet needs.

Susan Romeo, director of marketing and communications for Calstart, discussed partnership opportunities with MEMA members.
Susan Romeo, director of marketing and communications for Calstart, discussed partnership opportunities with MEMA members.

Project Manager David Kantor, who manages the California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), provided an update on Year 3 of the funding program, which is about to start. He stated that there has been an increase in funding from Year 2, and fleets in the San Joaquin Valley can apply for additional funding on top of the HVIP vouchers. The HVIP addresses the biggest barrier of purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles  — the up-front cost increase — and reduces the purchase cost rather than delivering rebates after vehicle purchase. Dealers apply for the voucher, meaning fleet managers don’t have to do any of the paperwork. Funding is available for both hybrid trucks and buses and all-electric trucks and buses.

Kantor said that for public fleets, which often take longer to complete a purchase, the organization has speeded up the process. Public fleets can send in a letter expressing intent to purchase a qualifying vehicle, and they will have a HVIP voucher amount reserved. A full list of eligible vehicles is here. Vouchers are not given out for retrofit vehicles.

Calstart is a nonprofit organization with more than 150 members, including businesses and government agencies. Founded in 1992, the organization has three offices, two in California and one in Denver. Calstart hosted the meeting at its Pasadena, Calif., office.

The MEMA meeting included lunch and a treasurer’s report.

By Thi Dao

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