State regulators in Pennsylvania and California have introduced new assistance programs to create wider adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and technology, the states announced separately.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of Pennsylvania is offering rebates to residents who purchase alternative fuel vehicles. These rebates are funded by the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) program, which is supported by a gross receipts tax on utilities. To qualify, the vehicle must be registered in Pennsylvania, operated primarily in-state, and be purchased no more than six months before the rebate application is submitted. Fleets are typically eligible for AFIG funding.
Large-battery vehicles are eligible for a rebate of $2,000 (Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, Chevy Volt, and similar models from BMW and Tesla), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles are eligible for a rebate of $1,000 (Toyota Prius plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord).
Rebates of $1,000 are also being offered for natural gas, propane, hydrogen or fuel-cell vehicles, such as the CNG powered Honda Civic or any new CNG powered car or pickup truck. CNG original equipment, manufacturer retrofits, or certified conversions to CNG or propane are also eligible for the $1,000 rebate. A $500 rebate is available for electric motorcycles and scooters.
There are only a limited number of rebates available at $2,000. The rebate program offered will be reassessed upon payment of the first 250 rebates at $2,000 or June 30, 2016, whichever occurs first.
The California Energy Commission has approved a contract with the South Coast Air Quality Management District for new technology to measure tailpipe emissions of natural gas refuse trucks and school buses to help determine how much pollution is eliminated when compared with diesel vehicles.
Grants were also given to expand or install equipment to support the fueling of natural gas vehicles in Kern County, Kings Canyon Unified School District, and the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitation District in San Rafael, and to H2 Frontier, Inc., Air Liquide Industrial US LP, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and FirstElement Fuel, Inc. to cover initial operation and maintenance costs for 17 hydrogen refueling stations.
A contract with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards to develop initial standards for the measurement of electricity used to charge electric vehicles at public charging stations was also approved.
Finally, an agreement with Mendota Bioenergy, LLC, for a project converting beets to biofuel was terminated due to multiple, significant breaches of the agreement terms.