California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted a revised funding plan for proceeds from the cap-and-trade programme, which includes putting more clean vehicles in disadvantaged communities and will see US$363m pumped into the initiative.

The investments range from supporting increased numbers of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks and buses to rebates for low- and zero-emission passenger vehicles.

“The investment of $363m from our cap-and-trade programme for these low-carbon transportation projects will continue to drive the market for new technologies and put more ultra-clean and zero-emission trucks, buses and cars into the communities throughout California that need them the most,” said CARB chairwoman, Mary Nichols.

The revised plan for fiscal year 2016-17 keeps much of the original funding plan (approved in June, 2016) intact, while addressing the smaller budget appropriation of US$363m.

Key highlights of the revised plan include:

. US$133m to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), which offers up to US$5,000 in vehicle rebates for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles;

. US$80m to light-duty vehicle pilot projects, including US$60m for air district-administered retire-and-replace pilot projects (double the amount called for in the original funding plan); and

. US$150m for a range of heavy-duty vehicle and off-road equipment projects, including advanced technology demonstration projects, and providing zero-emission buses for transit agencies and rural school districts.

“Investments in disadvantaged communities are designed to help lower-income residents living in areas of California affected most by air pollution afford the cleanest cars,” said a CARB statement. “The scrap-and-replace pilot projects – replacing older and dirtier cars with the very cleanest currently available – have been allocated US$60m, double the amount of funding in the earlier board-approved plan.

“That will ensure existing programmes in the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast air districts will have funding beyond this fiscal year and provides for the expansion of similar programmes to other interested air districts.

“In addition, there is funding for other light-duty equity pilot projects ranging from van-pools for agricultural workers in the San Joaquin Valley, to financing assistance for lower-income consumers looking to get into clean vehicles.”

The US$133m CVRP allocation, while less than the amount in the earlier board-approved Funding Plan, is expected to meet demand through the fiscal year. To date, the programme has provided more than 160,000 rebates since its start in 2010.

In order to make clean vehicles more accessible to a greater number of California drivers in communities which are highly impacted by air pollution, the rebate project will amplify the increased incentive levels for lower-income consumers by US$500 and reduce high-income eligibility caps. The changes apply Statewide to consumers who purchase or lease rebate-eligible vehicles, effective from 1 November.

As for heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment, the modified Funding Plan allocates US$150m for related projects, from a voucher incentive project to encourage commercial deployment of hybrid, low-NOx, and zero-emission trucks, buses and engines to large-scale pilot projects, which encourage the commercialisation of zero-emission trucks and buses.

The board also voted to increase the maximum incentive amount for the Low NOx Engine Incentives with Renewable Fuel to US$25,000 per truck.