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Air Resources Board Staff Proposes Allocations for $25M funding
May 16, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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The Air Resources Board staff has published its recommendations for use of $25M in "Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Program" funds allocated last year. This program for the first time included programs involving plug-in hybrids. The starting expected allocation categories were $12M for biofuels and E85, $5M for "hybrid electric vehicle demonstration programs" (the PHEV category), $1.5M for incentives for PZEVs (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) and ZEVs, $3.5M for alternative fuel vehicle research, and $1M for consumer education and outreach.

ARB received many applications. The good news is that a number of very worthy projects have been recommended for funding.

CaCars supporters will be disappointed to know that our proposal was not one of them. We had enthusiastically proposed a "PLUG-IN CALIFORNIA: Statewide Information Campaign," with a series of events in 10 locations along with print and multi-media materials. We proposed surveying and assessing consumer behavior and attitudes as they impact the potential for commercialization of PHEVs. We proposed making all this information available to our broad statewide and national network, to auto-makers, and to ARB. We requested $748,000 in ARB funds, matched by $200,000 from and $100,000 raised elsewhere. We presume we're out of the running, but don't know that for certain.

Among the projects recommended by the staff for support, in order of preference, were many that are of critical importance and some where we (both a disinterested party and a competitor) might have made different decisions: $1.1M to UC Berkeley and Irvine for technical assessment and market analysis of low emission vehicles (including in addition to PHEVs, fuel cell vehicles and conventional hybrids), along with recommendations for evaluating and certifying PHEVs $561K to Tesla Motors for a medium-power charging station $344K to the Electric Power Research Institute and Prof. Andrew Burke of UC Davis to independently verify performance claims of new battery technologies (including the ones we get asked about all the time) $1.5M to the UC Davis PHEV Center to acquire 10 PHEV conversions and evaluate consumer behavior and attitudes $142K to Plug In America to support the Societ of Automotive Engineers Formula Hybrid Competition; $150K to ZEV Research to develop a TV show on electric power $1.2M to EPRI and Eaton for development of medium-duty PHEV trucks. Two other projects, by Aerovironment on charging and infrastructure and Tesla Motors for battery and system testing, were "next most qualified."

Non-PHEV sections included: $1.37M to City of Burbank for a PHEV bus with a PHEV bus with hydrogen fuel cells $1.05M to UC Irvine to define and develop certification test protocols for PHEVs. $1.0M to Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for a statewide campaign to promote advanced technology and alt-fuel vehicles in general $400K to San Diego Environmental Foundation for its EcoCenter $171K to the Office of the State Fire Marshall to train first responders about alt-fuels $150K to the San Diego Regionall Energy Office to administer $1.5M in incentives for zero-emission, PHEV and alternative fuel vehicles'

Our quick summaries may not do all the projects justice. You can read all the details in the "Staff Report on the Proposed Allocations of $25 Million for the Alternative Fuel Incentive Program"­fuels/­altfuels/­incentives/­052407altfuel_sr.pdf.

Next step: the Board, whose members are listed and shown at­board/­members.htm, will review and hear testimony about these staff recommendation in San Diego on May 24-25, 2007. As you can see on the agenda page,­board/­ma/­2007/­ma052407.htm, this is the same meeting that will consider the "Zero Emission Vehicle Program Review: Technology Status Report Presented by the Independent Review Panel." CalCars and many other PHEV and EV advocates expect to be at the hearing. We encourage readers to consider attending, or to transmit their views to CARB.

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