Cash Incentives Encourage Use Of Alt-Fuel Vehicles

Posted on May 18, 2011 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

GREEN FOR GREEN: A wide variety of low-emission vehicles are eligible for rebates through the San Diego Airport Vehicle Rebate Program. Any operator with a vehicle registered at the airport can qualify.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Beginning in early June 2011, the CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY (CCSE) will be releasing a $750,000 fund through the Airport Vehicle Rebate Program (AVRP) to help ground transportation fleets who service the San Diego Airport begin the transition to low-emission vehicles.

$100,000 will be allotted for the charter/livery group, and operators can receive up to $5,000 towards the purchase of a qualified low-emission vehicle. Funds will also apply retroactively to any qualified vehicle purchased on or after July 1, 2010.

The fund was made possible by a grant from the Reformulated Gasoline Settlement Fund created as a result of an antitrust class action lawsuit. Heather Shepard, associate program manager for the CCSE, said the money from the fund will not only be used for vehicle rebates but also to help provide education and training. $750,000 will go toward vehicle rebates and another $75,000 for outreach and education.

“We wanted to make sure we addressed as many potential barriers to adoption as possible,” Shepard said. “Some of the goals are to educate operators on the technology and economic benefits and make sure everyone has equal access and opportunity to take advantage of it.”

The ELIGIBLE VEHICLES are not limited to alternative-fuel vehicles but also a variety of clean-fuel and hybrid vehicles. “At CCSE, we believe that alternative-fuel vehicles are the future, so we’re trying to help. Giving people choices allows them to decide which vehicle is best for their business. We wanted the program to be as fleet-friendly as possible and we are working with a variety of dealers, fueling-infrastructure providers, financing and leasing companies and manufacturers,” Shepard said.

When the San Diego Airport Authority entered into a memorandum of understanding with the office of the California Attorney General aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the San Diego Airport, they constructed a plan part of which was to adopt a new fee structure to encourage conversions of the shuttle, taxi, and vehicle-for-hire fleets to alternative- or clean-fuel vehicles. In order to ease the burden of transition for fleet managers and operators, the SDAA contacted Mike Ferry, transportation programs manager for the CCSE, to research grants and other sources of funding. Ferry discovered the Reformulated Gasoline Settlement fund and secured a grant for the AVRP.

CCSE hopes to take this program and apply it to other fleets and broaden it regionally in San Diego and eventually other airports.

The criteria for participating in this program are:

• Operator must be permitted at the San Diego airport.

• Rebates only apply to eligible vehicles.

• Fleets are limited to five vehicle rebates.

• Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis

There will be a meeting on May 24 at 4 p.m. for the San Diego Airport livery/charter and taxi community at the California Center for Sustainable Energy office, which is at 8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92123. Please contact Heather Shepard at or (858) 244-7295.


CCSE is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of services that help people adopt sustainable practices and save energy and money through rebates, technical assistance and public education. For more information and workshop listings, visit or call 1-866-SDENERGY.

Sources: CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY; Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor

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