Bosch has acquired battery maker Seeo, giving it access to long-range battery technology. The California-based company has developed lithium-ion batteries that could possibly double the range of electric vehicles. The batteries use non-reactive solid polymer electrolytes that allow for more energy density without increasing the risk of a fire. Vehicles that offer a longer range help remove one of the obstacles keeping EVs from mainstream acceptance. The deal to acquire Seeo went through in mid-August for an undisclosed amount of money. Read more from Reuters.

Scotland is offering interest-free loans to purchase EVs. The loans, which are being funded by Transport Scotland, will cover the entire price of the vehicle up to 50,000 pounds (about $77,0000) for individuals and 100,000 pounds ($154,000) for businesses. Scotland has set aside 2.5 million pounds ($3.8 million) for the loan program, which has an application deadline of March 31, 2016. The UK also offers the recently extended Plug-in Car Grant to EV customers, which pays for up to 5,000 pounds ($7,700) for a new electric car, while ChargePlace Scotland provides grant funding for home charger installation. Read more at Green Car Reports.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has awarded 2,000 vouchers through its Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project. The 2,000th voucher goes to Redwood Products for $23,000, which covers about a third of the price of a Hino hybrid truck. So far, the voucher program has provided $63 million for 430 zero-emission and 1,800 hybrid trucks and buses. "Thanks to California Climate Investments, which support clean transportation programs like HVIP, our communities are getting an infusion of resources that help businesses buy low-carbon vehicles, support economic growth and help clean the air," says CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey, "all which will pay dividends for generations to come." Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.
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Air Resources Board and partners celebrate significant milestone with clean-air trucks

Since 2010, ARB has awarded 2,000 vouchers for low-carbon hybrid and zero-emission trucks

CHINO - The California Air Resources Board, elected officials and industry today celebrated the 2,000th Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher, awarded to Redwood Products of Chino, a small business that invested in a clean, low-carbon hybrid delivery truck. Cleaner trucks mean fewer unhealthy diesel emissions.

The incentive program has contributed to air pollution reductions in neighborhoods throughout California. Since its launch in 2010, the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) has provided more than $63 million to help California fleets statewide purchase more than 430 zero-emission trucks and buses and 1,800 hybrid trucks and buses – and additional funding is on the way. Funding for this program is primarily supported through California Climate Investments, programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund using proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade auctions.

"Thanks to California Climate Investments, which support clean transportation programs like HVIP, our communities are getting an infusion of resources that help businesses buy low-carbon vehicles, support economic growth and help clean the air – all which will pay dividends for generations to come," Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey said.

Redwood Products is the recipient of a $23,000 voucher, which covered close to one-third of the price of a low-carbon Hino hybrid truck. Based in Chino, Redwood Products provides mulch, wood chips and other products to nurseries and the landscape industry in five western states.

Those who gathered to mark the occasion included Senator Connie M. Leyva; Mr. Christopher Craig, a representative for Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez; California Air Resources Board Member Barbara Riordan; and representatives from Redwood Products, Hino Trucks, CALSTART, Rush Truck Center and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

HVIP is the nation's first program to directly reduce the up-front cost of hybrid or zero-emission trucks and buses. HVIP incentives drive manufacturing production and fleet acceptance of the advanced heavy-duty vehicle technologies California must deploy to meet its long-term air quality and climate goals. Consumer incentives are needed because these products generally cost more than their conventional counterparts, which can be a significant deterrent to their purchase. This streamlined approach – with eligible vehicles and preset voucher amounts available on a first-come, first-served basis – has proven popular with vehicle dealers, manufacturers, and California fleets.

The program provides vouchers of up to $95,000 for California purchasers and lessees of zero-emission trucks and buses, and up to $30,000 for eligible hybrid trucks and buses on a first-come, first-served basis. HVIP also provides incentives of up to $110,000 for zero-emission trucks that provide benefits to disadvantaged communities.

The ARB in June approved a $373 million funding plan that covers all investments in advanced technologies for fiscal year 2015-16, from zero-emission heavy-duty trucks to rebates for low- and zero-emission passenger vehicles. The bulk of the $373 million -- $350 million -- comes through California Climate Investments. These low-carbon transportation investments include $200 million for light-duty vehicles and $167.5 million for heavy-duty vehicle and freight-equipment projects, including vouchers to help support the purchase of hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses.

For more information about HVIP, click here. For information about ARB's fiscal year 2015-16 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation Investments and the Air Quality Improvement Program, click here. For a press release about the Funding Plan, click here.

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