The California Air Resources Board, or CARB, has started a funding program worth $20 million, to help fast track the purchase of Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicles. The funding program is the first one of it’s kind in the United States, and will help reduce the up-front cost of hybrid vehicles for businesses and industry. images-1

To comply with new emissions standards set by CARB, business owners of buses, heavy truck fleets, and industrial equipment, including businesses with heavy equipment for rent, need to purchase new vehicles or retrofit old vehicles to reduce smog creating diesel emissions.

The funding will help cash strapped companies to purchase hybrid vehicles sooner, by cutting the cost of a new vehicle approximately by half. CARB hopes the plan will put up to 800 new hybrid vehicles on the road. In turn the program should also give a boost to manufacturing and technology jobs within American companies that produce hybrid technology for heavy duty and industrial vehicles.

“California is taking an aggressive approach to getting lower-polluting vehicles on the road more quickly,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “This will accelerate our progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and reaching our climate change reduction goals.”

The hybrid vehicles are expected to produce 20%-50% less emissions, reducing smog, as well as providing better fuel efficiency for their owners, and lower operating costs.

Smog is known for causing and aggravating serious health and respiratory conditions such as asthma, and heart disease. The diesel particulate matter produced by diesel burning engines is toxic and contains many carcinogens, leading to the rise of certain cancers and other serious illnesses.

These programs, although they come with a heavy price tag, are certain to have wonderful long term benefits for the health of Californians, and for the whole planet.