Clean transportation and fuel projects in California just got the green light for continued funding, thanks to legislation recently signed into law by Governor Brown.
Assembly Bill 8 (Perea) allows the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) Program to continue investing in innovative transportation and fuel technologies that help the state meet its energy, clean air, and climate-change goals. The bill extends the program to January 1, 2024, adding as much as $800 million for future investments in low-carbon fuels and vehicle technologies.
The transportation sector currently accounts for nearly 40 percent of the state's greenhouse gas emissions. More than 92 percent of all transportation energy consumed in California is petroleum-based. The ARFVT Program is essential to California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease petroleum fuel use, and increase use of cleaner alternative fuels such as hydrogen fuel cells.
AB 8 includes a provision that directs the ARFVT Program to allocate up to $20 million per year to construct at least 100 publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations in California. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are expected to play an important role in cutting carbon and advancing the Governor's Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Action Plan goals: building enough infrastructure to support 1 million ZEV vehicles by 2020 and having 1.5 million ZEV vehicles on the road by 2025.
The passage of AB 8 will transform California's transportation sector, while creating jobs and attracting private investments to the state. Since 2007, the ARFVT Program has invested more than $400 million to 233 fuel, vehicle, and infrastructure projects. Roughly 5,400 short- and long-term jobs have been created by these funded projects. Private and additional public-sector matching contributions have totaled nearly $740 million since 2009.