The California Air Resources Board has chosen CalStart for the second year in a row to manage the nation's largest incentive program for hybrid and electric trucks and buses.

Last year's program resulted in the purchase of more than 650 hybrid trucks in California.

The CARB Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program (HVIP), initiated in late 2009, encourages fleet operators to purchase hybrid trucks instead of conventional ones.

The HVIP incentives cuts about half of the incremental cost of purchasing hybrid heavy-duty trucks and buses, helping owners buy cleaner new technology when production volumes are still low, and prices high.

The 2011 HVIP is being expanded to include more eligible vehicles, including electric trucks and buses. Within the past year, a number of manufacturers, some located in California, have begun selling all-electric trucks. Many of the all electric trucks tend to be on the lighter side and are often used by the package and delivery industry. In contrast, last year, almost half of the hybrids were Class 8 trucks.

In 2010, despite significantly lower overall truck sales, CalStart was able to secure commitments for more than $19 million in incentives (the form of the rebate) for the 650 trucks in less than six months, growing the nation's hybrid truck fleet by more than 20 percent. Fleets throughout California continue to benefit from the HVIP program, including the San Francisco Food Bank.

"This program is playing a critical role in helping to jump-start the hybrid truck sector," said John Boesel, CalStart president and CEO.