Rapid Start for CARB's Zero-Emission Equipment Incentive

Vouchers for tractors, forklifts, and more help reduce emissions and improve air quality.

CORE has committed 2,100 vouchers for equipment and electric vehicle supply equipment.
CORE has committed 2,100 vouchers for equipment and electric vehicle supply equipment.
@Enrique del Barrio - adobe.stock.com

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced the initiation of its Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) which will promote the use of cleaner machines and equipment. This will help start the transition to a zero-emissions industry.

According to the company:

CARB opened its CORE project on July 18, providing point-of-sale discounts on zero-emission off-road equipment. CALSTART is administering the project and held $179 million in available moneys at the funding lane’s launch. Originally intended only for freight-handling equipment, CORE has expanded since its initial offering to include funding for agriculture and construction equipment, among others.

In the weeks that the funding lane has been open, $75.7 million of the initial $179 million has already been claimed by early applicants, with the terminal tractor, transport refrigeration unit, and mobile power unit equipment categories now oversubscribed and no longer available for incentives. However, there are still incentive funds available for several other CORE equipment categories, including construction and agriculture equipment; those interested are encouraged to apply quickly before those categories also become oversubscribed or all funds are accounted for. 

The CORE project works to accelerate the adoption of clean off-road vehicles and equipment by providing funding incentives to offset the initial purchase price of zero-emission technology. CORE promotes the use of zero-emission vehicles and equipment over internal combustion options, seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollutants, particularly in severely impacted areas; highlight the availability and resilience of zero-emission technology; and provide other off-road sector benefits, including technology transferability, reduced component costs, and increased infrastructure investments.

The application process has been optimized to make participation easy. CORE’s key elements include:

  • Vouchers for point-of-sale discounts on zero-emission off-road equipment, up to a maximum of $1 million per voucher, for qualified participants
  • Applicants are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis
  • There is no requirement to scrap, sell, or retire existing equipment
  • Voucher enhancements are for charging/refueling infrastructure, equipment operated in disadvantaged communities, and small businesses
  • Additional funding is available through the EnergIIZE project

“The path toward clean air means ensuring that off-road equipment used in different industries, from ports to agriculture, construction, and others, transition to zero-emissions,” said Peter Christensen, chief of CARB’s Innovative Strategies Branch. “CARB’s CORE project makes it possible for these industries to make the switch and do their part to reduce emissions that impact their workers and the communities that they serve.”

“There are many businesses in California that operate primarily or completely in off-road areas that want to make the transition to zero-emission equipment. It’s better for the environment, employee health, and customer satisfaction,” said Jacob Whitson, CORE program manager, CALSTART. “CORE’s mission is to assist these businesses in making the transition. Helping off-road businesses get a leg up in adopting zero-emission equipment is good for them, their communities, and the environment.”

CORE targets off-road equipment that has not yet achieved a significant foothold in the commercial market, and currently supports the following equipment categories:

  • On- and off-road terminal tractors
  • Truck- and trailer-mounted transport refrigeration units (TRUs)
  • Forklifts
  • Cargo-handling equipment
  • Airport ground-support equipment
  • Railcar movers and freight locomotives
  • Mobile power units (MPUs) and mobile shore-power cable management system
  • Construction equipment
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Commercial harbor craft

CORE has committed 2,100 vouchers for equipment and electric vehicle supply equipment, totaling over $249 million, with terminal tractors and mobile power units being the most requested equipment type.

CORE is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, improving public health and the environment, and providing meaningful benefits to the most disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households.

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