Sacramento, California – The California Energy Commission has adopted the state’s first transportation investment plan, intended to stimulate “green” transportation projects and encourage innovation to meet aggressive climate change policies.

“The Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program provides much-needed funding to support deployment of clean fuels and vehicles,” said Energy Commission chairman Karen Douglas. “It also provides a unique opportunity to help California compete for billions of dollars in federal stimulus dollars.”

The program allocates US$176 million over the next two years. The state is aggressively working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, decrease petroleum fuel use to 15 per cent below 2003 levels by 2020, and increase alternative fuel use to 20 per cent by 2020. This will require a portfolio of new fuels and vehicle technologies, including electric drive and fuel cell vehicles, low-carbon biofuels, gasoline and diesel vehicles with far greater fuel economy, and natural gas and propane vehicles.

The bill authorizes the Energy Commission to provide approximately $120 million annually over seven years to develop these new fuels and technologies, ensure that they are accessible to the public, and encourage motorists and fleet operators to purchase new, advanced vehicles.

Over the next two years, the Energy Commission will invest $46 million for electric vehicles, public charging stations, and manufacturing plants; $40 million for hydrogen fuelling stations; $12 million for advanced ethanol fuel production facilities and E85 stations; $43 million for natural gas vehicles, fuelling stations and biomethane production facilities; $6 million for advanced renewable diesel and biodiesel facilities; and $2 million for propane vehicles. The plan also directs $27 million to fund workforce training programs, research, public education, and technical assistance programs.

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