For Immediate Release: November 3, 2011
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Energy Commission Awards Nearly $5 Million
To Encourage Natural Gas-Powered Buses and Trucks

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved funding of $4,963,000 to help bring natural gas-powered shuttle buses and large trucks to California's highways. The awards, funded from the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, help to pay the difference between a conventional gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle and one powered by a much cleaner alternative fuel.

"By encouraging the use of natural gas-and propane-powered vehicles, we are helping create jobs and reduce California's dependency on petroleum," said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. "At the same time, the use of cleaner-burning fuel helps to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduces other air pollutants, protecting the health and the environment of all Californians. Individuals and businesses also will save money by using a domestically produced, lower-cost alternative fuel."

The Energy Commission already has awarded nearly $15.5 million to help public and private fleet operators as well as individual consumers afford new alternative-fueled passenger vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty buses and trucks. The on-road vehicles meet all the emission requirements of the Air Resources Board and are fully warranted by the original equipment manufacturer. "We are quite pleased by the response to this program. The Energy Commission recently allocated an additional $15 million for these sorts of natural gas and propane-powered vehicle incentives," said Peterman.

To make the Energy Commission's buy-down program as efficient and simple as possible, the incentive reservations are awarded in blocks to vehicle manufacturers or their designated dealers. The incentives are passed on to the individual buyers at the point of sale. Applications from manufacturers for the program are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The incentives approved today go to these companies:

  • Creative Bus Sales (Chino) is awarded a total of $575,000 in incentives for 33 vehicles manufactured by Champion Bus. Creative Bus Sales will use $15,000 to buy-down 5 natural gas-powered vans of up to 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight, and $560,000 to help purchase 28 natural gas shuttle buses of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
  • Rotolo Chevrolet (Fontana) is awarded a total of $40,000 in incentives to buy-down 5 natural gas-powered commuter vans of 8,500 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight that are manufactured by General Motors.
  • Nations Bus Corporation (Inglewood) is awarded a total of $180,000 in incentives for 9 vehicles manufactured by the Diamond Coach Corp. The natural gas-powered vans will be in the 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight range.
  • Capacity of Texas, Inc. (Longview, Texas) is awarded $1,280,000 in incentives to help buy-down 40 heavy-duty natural gas-powered trucks in the 26,001 pounds and greater gross vehicle weight range. The company is the original equipment manufacturer of the vehicles.
  • TEC of California (Oakland, La Mirada and Fontana) is awarded $1,280,000 in incentives to help buy-down 40 heavy-duty natural gas-powered trucks in the 26,001 pounds and greater gross vehicle weight range. The vehicles are built by Mack Truck.
  • Bridgeport Truck Manufacturing (Bridgeport, Texas) is awarded $320,000 in incentives to help buy-down 10 natural gas-powered trucks that they manufacture. The 10 trucks will be in the 26,001 pounds and greater gross vehicle weight range.
  • West Coast Bus Sales, Inc. (Oakland) is awarded a total of $380,000 in incentives for 25 vehicles manufactured by Tiffany Coachworks, Perris, California. West Coast Bus Sales will use $80,000 to buy-down 10 natural gas-powered large vans in the range of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, and $300,000 to help purchase 15 natural gas shuttle buses of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
  • West Coast Bus Sales, Inc. (Oakland) is awarded $380,000 in incentives to help buydown 25 vehicles manufactured by Federal Coach. West Coast Bus Sales will use $80,000 to buy-down 10 natural gas-powered vans in the range of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, and $300,000 to buy-down 15 natural gas shuttle buses in the range of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
  • Inland Chevrolet (Hemet) is awarded $528,000 in incentives to help buy-down 66 General Motors natural gas-powered vans in the range of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

To benefit from the incentives, purchasers must agree to operate the vehicles in California on the alternative fuel at least 90 percent of the time for three years.

More information about the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program is available at the Energy Commission's DRIVE website at: www.energy.ca.gov/drive

Parties interested in the program are encouraged to sign up for the List serve at: www.energy.ca.gov/transportation

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Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez , Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The statute, amended by Assembly Bill 109 (Núñez , Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help achieve the state's climate change policies.

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.



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