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California invests $83 million to help small fleets transition to zero-emissions

August 30, 2023

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today announced the opening of this year’s Innovative Small E-Fleet (ISEF) voucher incentive set-aside, which will offer $83 million in assistance for small fleets transitioning to cleaner vehicles. The funding assistance program is part of the state’s Clean Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive program (HVIP) and will open for voucher requests starting today (Aug. 30).

The ISEF voucher program gives a boost to small fleets that may otherwise have challenges accessing incentive funding. The program also provides an opportunity to gather data about the needs of small fleets to better understand how to further support the transition toward zero-emissions technology.

CARB increased the voucher program this year with an additional $50 million. Privately owned trucking companies and nonprofits, including independent owner/operators, with 20 or fewer vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 8,500 lbs. and less than $15 million in annual revenue are eligible and can access funding that can cover costs related to the purchase and operation of zero-emission trucks. Nonprofits are exempt from the revenue cap. Fleets must work with an approved provider to apply for vouchers; these providers will work with eligible equipment dealers to request vouchers on the individual fleet’s behalf.

“Ensuring a clean air future means that no one can be left behind, and the ISEF program is an example of the assistance that CARB is providing to ensure that fleets big and small understand how to do their part to achieve California’s zero-emissions goals, and have the support needed to be successful,” said CARB Executive Officer Dr. Steven Cliff. “Every new zero-emissions truck on the road means cleaner air and healthier communities.”

Eligible participants may request funding vouchers toward the purchase of a new zero-emission truck or for an innovative solution, which includes offerings not traditionally allowed in government-funded programs – flexible financing, fuel-included leases, rentals, and truck-as-a-service options to help offset costs such as charging or other fueling infrastructure, insurance and alternative fuel costs. ISEF is administered by CALSTART, a national clean-transportation nonprofit organization.

“I am so grateful for the ISEF program—as a startup company, it was a game-changer to have the support from this program to help me buy my first two battery-electric semis and make the transition to cleaner vehicle technology,” said Sharmin Watson, owner of Avant Garde Auto Logistics, LLC. “We made history as the first fleet of Class 8 all-electric semis to haul finished vehicles in the United States. I appreciate all the help from the CALSTART team; they have been easy to work with throughout the process.”

“ISEF funding to transition to zero emissions elevated our work in an incredible way,” said Shante Walker, founder and CEO of The Niles Foundation. “We can now provide equitable services to disadvantaged communities without polluting the environment at the expense of others. We are grateful to those who assisted us and the incredible funding program from ISEF. We plan to work with them again soon.”

Programs such as ISEF that provide resources to small fleets in California enables their transition to zero-emission vehicles, which is critical to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollutants and to achieving carbon neutrality in the state by 2045.

More information about ISEF is available on the Purchaser Page.

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