Contract funds were awarded to the Energy Commission through the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program, which promotes the introduction of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles to reduce reliance on petroleum.
The air districts will use the funds as seed money for companies and individuals to purchase electric vehicles (passenger cars and small trucks) . Fleet and individual buyers will receive $5,000 each in incentives. Automakers are expected to produce electric vehicles retailing between $20,000 and $35,000.
The contracts will provide $25,000 to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District and $50,000 each to the Bay Area Quality Management District, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution District and the San Diego Air Pollution Control District. The remaining $25,000 will go to the first of the air districts to spend its initial award, can verify additional match funds and identify additional electric vehicle buyers.
Energy Commission Chairman Charles Imbrecht said: "With gasoline prices hitting people hard, this grant will reduce California's reliance on a single source of energy in the transportation sector, and provide consumers new transportation choices."
John Dunlap III, chairman of the Air Resources Board, said the Commission's parnership with the air districts through the Clean Cities Program "will help Californians achieve healthful air quality. We commend the Energy Commission's development of this program."
Each of the districts is matching the Commission grants dollar for dollar. They will furnish data on electric vehicle driveability, performance, fuel usage and costs and daily mileage.
Through the program, the Energy Commission hopes to place no fewer than 100 electric vehicles on the road and stimulate new market demands for non-petroleum transportation technologies.
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