California Boosts Alt-Fuel Uptake with Range of Measures

| USA, California

The U.S. State of California has passed legislation in recent weeks designed to further stimulate the growth of alternative-fuelled vehicles in the State, including natural gas vehicles (NGVs). The measures include the development of strategies to maximise the uptake of natural gas and biomethane, lane access for clean vehicles, and funding for the expansion of hydrogen fueling infrastruucture.

AB 1257, signed into law October 11, raises the profile of natural gas as a transportation fuel:

“Beginning November 1, 2015, and every four years thereafter, the [California Energy Commission – the “commission”] shall, with the integrated energy policy report prepared pursuant to Section 25302, identify strategies to maximize the benefits obtained from natural gas, including biomethane … as an energy source, helping the state realize the environmental and cost benefits afforded by natural gas. As part of this report, the commission, at a minimum, shall identify strategies and options for … (1) Making the best use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, as appropriate, including for movement of freight, vessels, mass transit, and other commercial and passenger vehicle use and identifying methods to develop natural gas refueling infrastructure.”

AB 266, also signed into law September 28, extends High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane access for single-occupant approved alt-fuel vehicles, from the previosuly defnied closure date of January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2019.

AB 8, also signed into law September 28, extends the clean vehicles incentives program:

“The bill would require the commission to allocate $20 million annually, as specified, until there are at least 100 publicly available hydrogen-fueling stations in California. The bill, on or before December 31, 2015, and annually thereafter, would require the commission and the state board to jointly review and report on the progress toward establishing a hydrogen-fueling network that provides the coverage and capacity to fuel vehicles requiring hydrogen fuel that are being placed into operation in the state, as specified. … The bill would repeal the above provisions on January 1, 2024.”

California, specifically the City of Long Beach, is the host city for NGV Global’s biennial conference and exhibition, NGV Global 2014, which will be co-located with ACT Expo 2014.

(Source: California Government)

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