The Golden State is providing some green for the Tesla Model X.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors $10 million to expand its Fremont, CA, plant to accommodate production for the Model X SUV.

Tesla, which currently employs around 3,000 people, will add more than 500 jobs to build the Model X. Production is expected to start in 2014, and Tesla itself is investing $50 million getting ready for Model X production. Tesla unveiled a prototype of the Model X, complete with its "falcon-wing" doors, in February.

The CEC's grant was part of $20 million in awards for "clean transportation" projects within the state. Details on these grantees are available below, but readers will likely be most interested in the $1.8 million that Zero Motorcycles received to "expand the company's full electric motorcycle production capacity." There's also $300,000 for a compressed natural gas (CNG) station that will refuel CNG-powered garbage trucks.
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Energy Commission Awards More Than $20 Million for Clean Transportation Projects

Funded Projects Will Put More Electric and Alternative-Fuel Vehicles on the Road and Boost the Development of Vehicle Batteries

SACRAMENTO - Moving California closer to a clean energy transportation sector, the California Energy Commission today approved funding of more than $20 million for innovative transportation projects.

"These investments in clean vehicles will reduce petroleum use, improve air quality, and create jobs, while demonstrating California's commitment to a greener transportation future," said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman.

These awards, totaling $20,093,718, are made through the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. For the current fiscal year, 2012-2013, the program is slated to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies and alternative and renewable fuels, with the goals of reducing petroleum dependence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving air quality. The program is funded through a small surcharge on vehicle and boating registration and smog check fees.

The investments of public money through this AB 118 program are safeguarded by matching-fund requirements for awardees, and by making payments on a reimbursement basis.

The award recipients are:

Tesla Motors, Inc., will receive $10 million to purchase equipment for production of a new SUV/crossover vehicle, the all-electric Tesla Model X, at the company's facility in Fremont (Alameda County). Tesla is providing $50,200,000 in match funding for this project, which is expected to create more than 500 new manufacturing jobs in California. The project will leverage existing investments in Tesla's manufacturing and assembly line for the currently available Model S. As with the Model S platform on which it is based, Tesla expects the Model X to have a driving range of more than 250 miles on a single charge. It will be the first sport-utility crossover vehicle in California's electric vehicle market. To support this emerging plug-in electric vehicle market, the Energy Commission has invested more than $20 million to assist in the development of 5,000 charging stations statewide; and has awarded approximately $2 million to help local governments plan for more plug-in electric vehicles.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District will receive $3 million for the Bay Area "eTaxi" Program. Working with Better Place Mobility Services, Inc., the air district will demonstrate specially designed battery electric taxis that can use switchable batteries to give the vehicles essentially unlimited range. Two battery switching stations, at the international airports in San Francisco and San Jose, and six taxis that use switchable batteries will be used. Data regarding their operation will be collected as part of the project. Better Place is based in Palo Alto and Israel. The project will demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach to reducing pollution from transportation, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the air district's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Quallion, LLC, will receive $2,230,595 to expand its manufacturing capacity and integrate advanced battery management system (BMS) electronics to improve the performance of the lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The company, based in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), has significant experience with BMS design and production. This award is designed to assist the company in scaling up production for a growing electric transportation market. The project will include assessments of cost, capacity, performance and reliability, along with design, testing and production.

"The California Energy Commission's investment in Quallion's manufacturing facilities will help us pursue new applications for our advanced batteries," said Paul Beach, the company's president. "We have demonstrated the technical capabilities of our lithium ion batteries in medical devices and satellites, and with this funding we can leverage that success toward clean transportation projects."

Zero Motorcycles will receive $1,815,123 to expand the company's full electric motorcycle production capacity. The company is based in Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz County). Zero Motorcycles previously implemented manufacturing in Asia, but has chosen to bring its manufacturing and assembly operations back to California. With this award, the company plans to quadruple its motorcycle production capacity and develop new prototype motorcycles.

"We are honored to receive this generous grant from the California Energy Commission and are excited to continue to expand our manufacturing capacity here in California," said Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. "This project offers a unique opportunity to keep the competitive advantage of California's skilled labor force and create dozens of additional jobs during both the implementation and volume manufacturing stages of the project. This grant is a milestone for us because it allows Zero to dramatically increase the scale of our assembly line to meet customer demand for our outstanding electric motorcycles."

Valley Garbage and Rubbish Co., Inc., will receive $300,000 to build and operate a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station that will support the company's fleet of natural gas-powered garbage collection trucks used for collection of solid waste in the city of Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County). This station, to be located in an existing solid waste collection center, will also be available for other goods-movement fleets along Highway 101. This station will make it easier for fleets to switch to less-polluting CNG vehicles, as there are no CNG stations within 25 miles of this location.

The City of Mount Shasta will receive $200,000 to produce a comprehensive plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) readiness plan for Siskiyou, Shasta, and Tehama counties. The commercial introduction of PEVs is just now beginning. Developing a readiness plan will enable stakeholders to help communities prepare for more of these clean vehicles, and is key to creating linked charging infrastructure along the state's main highway corridors. Streamlining permitting and installation for charging stations will be a key benefit of this planning effort.

In addition, buy-down incentives totaling $2,548,000 will be awarded for 180 alternative-fuel vehicles, most of them school buses. These incentives help to pay the difference between alternative-fuel vehicles and conventional vehicles. They are available only for new natural gas and propane vehicles that meet all the emission requirements of the California Air Resources Board.

These buy-down incentives are reserved for vehicle manufacturers or their designated dealers and passed on to buyers in California at the time of sale. To receive the incentives, buyers must agree to register and operate the vehicles in California at least 90 percent of the time for three years.

The incentives approved today go to the following companies:

A-Z Bus Sales in Colton (San Bernardino County) will receive a total of $1,688,000 in buy-down reservations. Of that, $1,320,000 is for 66 propane school buses of 14,001 pounds gross vehicle weight and greater; $360,000 is for 36 propane vehicles of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; and $8,000 is for one natural gas vehicle of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Greenkraft, Inc., in Santa Ana (Orange County) will receive a total of $740,000 in buy-down reservations. Of that, $400,000 is for 40 propane vehicles of 14,001 to 26,000 gross pounds vehicle weight; and $340,000 is for 17 natural gas vehicles of 14,001 to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Big Valley Ford, Inc., in Stockton (San Joaquin County) will receive $114,000 for the buy-down of 19 propane vehicles of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Trans West Truck Center in Fontana (San Bernardino County) will receive $6,000 for the buy-down of one propane vehicle of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      10.6% only represents those legally listed as looking for work. Probably well over 20% BTW: The monthly stats released last week by the labor dept didn't include California. Oh, we forgot someone? only one state, BFD ? wink wink
      transpower
      • 2 Years Ago
      California is bankrupt. Let Elan raise the money privately....
        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transpower
        California is suffering from similar budget shortfalls as many other governmental organizations. I am not sure of your political persuasion, though most people who generalize their attacks against the state tend to be conservative. Conservatives also tend to be in favor of tax cuts. I'll never understand why the unfocused "give people with lots of money a huge tax break and blindly hope it sparks the economy" is considered good job-promoting policy while "give a company money guaranteed to be spent in the state" is bad. I'm not ascribing this dichotomy of thought to you, just commenting in general. That said, in direct response to your statement, states give incentives to businesses all the time in an effort to get them to locate plants/jobs in-state. Every single state in the union does the exact same thing. And it makes sense. If I'm broke and I spend some money on a movie... that's dumb. If I'm broke and I spend some money on job training... that's money well spent even if it means going into debt. The $10 million has a high probability of turning into a much larger windfall in the longer term.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transpower
        You don't understand how politics work. The money is already earmarked to be given out to promote California Clean Energy. They are going to give it out period. So I'm glad it's going toward something that has the possibilty of paying off.
        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transpower
        California is bankrupt because taxes collected from Ca. by federal government props up welfare states like AZ, IA, ND, SD to name a few. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_tax_revenue_by_state Basically the top 10 states carry the bottom 25 annually. Let those states take care of their infrastructure with revenue raised inside their states.
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sir Duke
          I'll assume you are correct, but that link you proves nothing of what you say.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      So a nearly bankrupt state is giving out $10 million in corporate welfare to a for-profit company run by rich people selling cars to other rich people. Downvotes incoming...
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's 20 million on top of 2 trillion dollars of state debt? Hey, i like Tesla a bunch, but come on. If they are good, private investors should be buying. If they're not, and they will never make a profit, then CA is stuffing more cash into the paper shredder as usual, and the taxpayers footing the bill won't get a return.
        krona2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Taxpayers may get a return indirectly in the future, more affordable EVs sooner that cost less to run than an ICE. I know it's tenuous.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Krona: can you name me one instance where an electric car company has made a profit? Tesla has been around for >5 years now and gone through billions. Grendal: i grew up there and yes it is that bad, look up 'california debt clock' on google. Paul: What kind of fiscal policy is handing someone money so that they can pay you back in taxes anyway? how about just reducing taxes? you know - make California the vibrant economy it once was many decades ago. I live in Utah currently and we are experiencing a rapid economic boom because we have low taxes and a more lenient regulatory and legal environment - many companies from New York and California are flocking here. They cannot hire and build things fast enough. The state has a budget surplus, crime is low, unemployment is low, and the roads are well paved. When is California going to pull their you know whats outta their you know whats? Even worse than high taxes is interfering with business and picking favorites like they are doing with Tesla. Government is inherently bad at making business decisions because they don't bear the negative consequences. Keep kicking the can down the road and believing that spending during a record deficit will fix things i guess. Maybe the state needs go to bankrupt in order to wake up.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Utah has a budget deficit and Utah has a per-capita debt (including all liabilities some might not count as debt) half that of California. See structural imbalance: http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Utah_state_budget The Utah deficit in 2012 at $50M is much smaller than the 2011 deficit of $300M.
        American Refugee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        10 million dollars? Let's say each of those 500 employees makes an average of $48000, which is the average for US auto workers. That means they each pay, in income tax, about $2200 bucks a year, or for all 500, a bit over $1,125,000 dollars total a year. Those workers will pay back that money in about eight years. But... Of course those auto workers are also paying California's steep sales taxes on most of their purchases. They are paying property tax, either through owning places or renting from a landlord who does. They are paying all the other taxes and fees that fills the state coffers. The payback for the state, just from the salaries of those workers, is probably more like 3-4 years. But... That's not including the sales tax paid when Tesla sales a care in California. Or the corporate tax rate that Tesla pays to the state. Or the rate they pay on their property and purchases. I bet the State of California makes its money back from Tesla in less then six months. The rest, as they say, is gravy.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @American Refugee
          Problem with your idea: they would have spent money on sales taxes and property taxes regardless. Your state should not be placing bets with your money. Especially when they don't have anymore to spend & could be seeing bankruptcy if this behavior continues. California also thought they'd make money on their school system, so they offered free schooling decades ago. And they offer schooling at a lower rate now. But guess what. - most people leave the state after they are done with school. Because they can't get jobs to pay the taxes. You must believe that a state can tax and spend itself into prosperity - but history shows that low interference and low taxes are best for business. I'll say it again - Utah is a great example. 5.8% employment, working govt. services, low crime, has a budget surplus, and they can't build things fast enough. Low interference, subsidies, favoritism, and tax rates = business growth without the state lifting a finger. Oh well, keep it up! I'm enjoy the benefits of living in a place that is a bit more lassez-faire.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @American Refugee
          JFK was considered a conservative. Would probably be a Republican today.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @American Refugee
          Another problem with your idea: if their jobs weren't welfared by the state, they'd move to another state that has jobs, such as Utah, Colorado, Texas, Washington, etc. So glad i left California in 2009.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @American Refugee
          "You must believe that a state can tax and spend itself into prosperity " sounds like Obamanomics. Been proven time and time again that it doesn't work. Even the demo poster boy/god JFK understood this, and cut taxes to stimulate growth. It worked. We need change. We need smart people to lead us out of this insanity. California is a "leader", a microcosm of most of the problems with this country, and like a canary in the coal mine.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Tesla now has 2,000+ workers and is hiring more as Model S production ramps up. California will get its money back from thousands of workers paying income taxes. Also California has a sales tax of 7.25%(state)-9.75%(state+local) which can add up to a big chunk of change when you buy a $100k vehicle. So the $10M will be effectively paid back if Tesla sells over 1,000 units in California.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        California has 2 Trillion debt? Yikes. I love CA but I'm very glad I don't live there anymore. If they were going to give away the money anyway then at least I'm glad that it's going to Tesla. California might, in a roundabout way, actually get a return on that investment.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Hi Grendal - are you the same Grendal posting over at TMC? Just curious... "4. Investing in the company is what I can do and have done at this time. Also I'm promoting Tesla and EV's in general where I can. That's my story... " http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/10044-Did-anyone-else-cancel-their-Model-S-order-to-wait-for-the-GEN-III/page2
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          No, NYT says $167B-$330B. Not $2T.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Do you comment over there as well? I've never seen a LTAW poster.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          The one with my big black dog sitting in my wife's Miata? Yes. That would be me. I post here, TMC, Aptera Forum, and often comment on any internet news article involving Tesla these days.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Still just a lurker at TMC. I posted once at FiskerBuzz, just an introduction. Not being an owner myself, it doesn't feel right to comment at either owner forum.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          There's plenty of posters on TMC that are not owners. It's the Tesla Motors Club and ethusiasts are invited. It's in their title. I currently intend to own one someday. That could change, of course, but it is my current plan as I posted. Besides there's plenty of other topics to post about there besides the cars. I'm certain your contributions would be welcome.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very nice. Tesla will put the money to good use.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are they calling that an SUV???
        William Flesher
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        SUV, Crossover, Minivan... It has aspects of all three. But with three usable rows of seating, and easy access to the third row, it definitely offers a healthy dose of utility. To my eyes, it's also quite attractive. Who cares what they call it, as long as it does what a three row vehicle should.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        (Looks like a station wagon to me - maybe competing with a Subaru Outback)
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          The Dodge Magnum was also classified as an SUV by the EPA, even though it is obviously a station wagon.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          The Outback is not a wagon, it's an SUV. Check the EPA classification. It's been an SUV for 5 years or more.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          BTW - I have nothing against station wagons. In fact, for many SUV drivers, a station wagon would make more sense IMHO.
      Ashton
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tesla would have expanded it anyway for the model X, they didn't need this money. I'm not blaming Tesla for receiving it, I'm blaming California for offering it.
      steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      The future is electric cars advance batteries, hydrogen fuel cells for range extension,capacitors. If we really want to modernize our transportation sector we can't get better ideas coming out of high school students. California is moving in the right direction seeking to modernize their transportation it does take public awareness of are problem that are addiction to oil. Leaving that to the car manufacturers they would continue to build cars that make under 18 miles in the city instead of getting 50 to 100 miles to a gallon, is GM and Ford and Chrysler and another car manufacturers colluding with oil companies?
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why not put up a picture of the Model X?
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Government incentives to create employment, and attract industry are a legitimate expenditure of taxpayer money. Don't like it? Then vote the government out ! But while the majority of voters give the government a mandate, it has every right to exercise that mandate. As economic conditions become more difficult, it's not the time to curtail local employment and economic activity. The government must cut waste, not productivity ! Most waste is created by idealistic or overly complicated legislation, hastily conceived to placate pressure groups or perceived political advantage. The concept that legislation can resolve problems that citizens should have the commonsense to resolve for themselves. The bloated bureaucracy created by such laws and regulation, is the real waste of taxpayer funds.
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "Government incentives to create employment, and attract industry are a legitimate expenditure of taxpayer money." Only if they worked. But have been proven time and time again, to be wasteful, corrupt, and just plain inefficient. Take a look at the statistic from this webpage: https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=41 $34.5 Billion $34,500,000,000 divided by 60,000 jobs That's $575,000 per job. Should I laugh or cry about socialistic stupidity ?
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @ EVnerdGene You miss the point, whether they work or not, is a matter for the electorate to decide. The legitimacy of the governments right to exercise it's mandate is unaffected by it's administrative ability to successfully implement such programs. (you also have to consider how many jobs would have been lost forever, without govt intervention!) The government does best when it intervenes in the market place as a consumer, or guarantor, using taxpayer funds to boost the economy. By allowing the normal operation of free enterprise to respond to the government as a customer, or capital guarantor, often ensures that for little risk, the government is able to defend the economy from unfair foreign competition, spur domestic growth, and provide and atmosphere of capital prosperity and security, while harnessing the competitive spirit of free enterprise. Nothing socialistic, just good economic management of the taxpayers funds !
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Marco, yes the electorate should decide. Current administration just flushed about a Trillion dollars down the toilet calling it "stimulus" with little to show for it. Really a world record slush fund. Bailed out unions; money to Acorn; kept municipal, county, and state workers working (also unions) when those same entities should have been cutting back instead of staying fat, lazy, and mismanaged. I really don't think the government is smart enough to make efficient use of anything, much less picking winners and losers. Seem to be experts at picking losers. That's what happens when you let your ideology, emotions, graft, and corruption involved in making decisions - that you really shouldn't be making in the first place. No let us keep our money. We can make much better use of it than any government program.
          Sir Duke
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Everyone comes up with a formula to arrive at the numbers they need to make their argument. The reality of the impact of these incentives will eventually be published in 5 or 10 years in a two paragraph article buried on page 10 of some obscure newspaper.
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd install a partition and swap the second row seating for a minibar and TV, then use this as a limousine.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well said, Marco , and it is us voters LACK of common sense that allows the pols to do to us as they will.
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