The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has opened the second round of its Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE), providing point-of-sale discounts on off-road zero emission equipment. 

The project is administered by CALSTART and has $125M in funding available, more than double the amount allocated to the project when it first launched in January 2020.

Originally only for freight, in 2022, CORE is expanding to include funding for the commercial harbor craft, agriculture and construction sectors.

Participation in the project has been streamlined for ease of use, and key elements include:

  • Qualified participants will receive vouchers for point-ofsale discounts on offroad zero-emission equipment, up to a maximum of $500,000 per voucher.
  • There is no requirement to “scrap,” sell, or retire existing equipment.
  • Additional funding may be available for charging/refueling infrastructure, equipment operated in disadvantaged communities, and small businesses. 

The first round of CORE resulted in over 460 vouchers for vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment totaling over $62 million, with terminal tractors being the most requested equipment type.

According to CARB, “CORE is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-andTrade dollars to work 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 lowincome households.”

An Imperfect System

This subsidy system is not, however, without its faults. Even with the state’s $26 billion budget surplus, only $125 million has been allocated to this ambitious program with such lofty goals. Considering the fact that conforming excavators can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $800,000, there’s generally not a lot to go around.

And take this example to heart. An ECAmember ordered two replacement forklifts under what is known as CARB’s Carl Moyer Program but with the pandemic and supply delays, CARB denied their payment for being late even though delays were beyond the member’s control and, they went through the entire process correctly. Even then, it was only through ECA’s intervention on behalf of our member that CARB made good on their subsidy promise.

By Dave Sorem, P.E. ECA Government Affairs Chairman Email: [email protected]