CARB Opens $25MM in Financing to Encourage Small Fleets to Transition to Zero-Emission Trucks

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) launched the Innovative Small E-Fleet (ISEF) $25 million set-aside within the state’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).

Launched by the California Air Resources Board, ISEF is intended to encourage small fleets to make the transition to zero-emission trucks. Privately owned and nonprofit trucking fleets of 20 or fewer vehicles and with annual revenues of less than $15 million are eligible and will have access to funding that can cover costs related to the purchase and operation of zero-emission trucks (ZETs). ISEF is administered by CALSTART, a national clean transportation nonprofit consortium.

Small fleets and owner-operators have often traditionally faced multiple barriers to ZET adoption, such as high up-front costs, limited financing options and complex planning for charging infrastructure. It is critical to address these challenges for small fleets because the majority of fleets in California operate 20 or fewer trucks.

ISEF incentive funding will allow small fleet owner/operators to utilize flexible financing, lease, rental and truck-as-a-service options, as well as offset infrastructure/charger costs, insurance and fuel costs. Fleets must work with an approved provider to apply for vouchers, and these providers will work with eligible equipment dealers to request vouchers on the individual fleet’s behalf. For example, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 drayage trucks are eligible for close to $300,000 per vehicle, drastically reducing upfront costs for California’s port truckers to move to zero-emissions.

“ISEF’s goal is to make it easier for smaller fleets to get past the barriers that they frequently face when transitioning from diesel-fueled engines to electric vehicle options,” Niki Okuk, deputy director of CALSTART Trucks and Off Road, said. “There are quite a few options in terms of equipment, financing and planning assistance that fleets can take advantage of in pursuing adoption of electric vehicles. The key first step is showing them they have a resource to help them take advantage of those options.”

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