For Immediate Release: July 11, 2012
Media Contact: Alison apRoberts - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards $500,000 To Advance Green Transportation
Funded Projects Will Put Cleaner Vehicles on the Road and Increase Alternative Fueling Options

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today approved funding of $505,329 for alternative-fuel vehicles and the installation of fueling stations that dispense alternative and renewable fuels. These investments help California to reduce dependence on foreign oil, improve the environment and fulfill the state's pioneering climate-change policies.

"These awards will put cleaner vehicles on the road in California, reduce the state's petroleum use, and boost the use of alternative and renewable fuels," said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. "These investments will also improve our air quality, create green jobs and move us closer to a green transportation future for our state."

The awards are provided through the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. The program provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of alternative and renewable fuels and new vehicle technologies. These projects also leverage private funding, attracting additional investment in clean energy technology.

The award recipients are:

  • Arcadia Unified School District (Los Angeles County) will receive $300,000 to install a new compressed natural gas fueling system. This will allow the district to expand its fleet to 15 compressed natural gas vehicles, which are less polluting than conventional-fuel vehicles.
  • Calexico Unified School District (Imperial County) will receive an award of $83,329 to upgrade its publicly accessible compressed natural gas station.
  • Buy-down incentives, totaling $122,000, will be awarded for 15 alternative-fuel vehicles. These incentives help to pay the difference between the cost of conventional gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles and new vehicles that use propane or natural gas. Eligible vehicles meet all emission requirements of the Air Resources Board and are fully warranted by their manufacturers. Purchased vehicles must be registered and driven in California at least 90 percent of the time for three years.

The buy-down incentives approved today go to the following companies:

  • Bob Stall Chevrolet, in La Mesa (San Diego County), will receive $32,000 for the buy-down of four natural gas vehicles of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
  • Rancho Motor Company, Inc., in Victorville (San Bernardino County), will receive $18,000; $8,000 of the award will go to the buy-down of one natural gas vehicle of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, and $10,000 will go to the buy-down of one propane gas vehicle of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross weight.
  • Rotolo Chevrolet, Inc., in Fontana (San Bernardino County), will receive $72,000 for the buy-down of nine natural gas vehicles of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

In addition, the Commission unanimously approved an order delegating authority to the Commission's Executive Director or designee to approve awards of $75,000 or less in AB 118 funds as well as minor amendments to agreements under the AB 118 Program. This change will streamline the approval process for changes to AB 118 grants and contracts, helping awardees stay on track to complete their projects, and allowing California to more quickly reap these projects' benefits in reducing greenhouse gas and petroleum consumption.

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The 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.