Air Board Approves Guidelines for ZEV Incentive Program

SACRAMENTO -- The California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) today approved guidelines for the distribution of $18 million for zero-emission vehicle incentives.

The program is designed to make the price of a full-service electric vehicle comparable to that of a conventionally fueled vehicle, spurring the electric vehicle market in California. This is important to the critical ramp-up period needed for the ZEV rule, requiring 10 percent of new vehicles sold in California to be pollution free starting in 2003.

ARB Chairman Alan C. Lloyd said, "Incentives to purchase zero-emission vehicles are an important part of the path to clean air in California. This commitment of dollars is a reflection of California's belief in the future of advanced transportation technologies."

The Zero-Emission Vehicle Incentive Program is the result of legislation signed by Governor Gray Davis on September 30, 2000 (AB 2061 - Lowenthal). The program will provide a total of $18 million in grants to reduce the incremental cost of new ZEV purchases or leases over the next three years. Individual grants totaling up to $9,000 may be provided over a 36-month period. These grants are available to qualified private and public consumers who purchase or lease a new ZEV between October 1, 2000, and December 31, 2002. If each recipient is awarded the full $9,000, this program would support 2,000 vehicles.

Applications will start being taken as soon as December 15, 2000 with the first grants being distributed by February 1, 2001. The program may only provide grants to individuals, local government, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses purchasing or leasing an eligible ZEV.

All of the funds will be used for grants, and none will be used for program administration. Development and administration of the program will be done by the ARB in conjunction with California Energy Commission.

Potential consumers can access or 1-800-END-SMOG to get information on program eligibility. Both of these resources will assist consumers with their purchase or lease decisions. Information will be provided on the amount of total funding available, vehicle eligibility, and the total grant amount that is available for each qualified vehicle. This information will frequently be updated.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.