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Improving Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Through Strategic Public-Private Partnerships.


The transportation sector is one of the most important sectors to combat climate change. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been working to increase the number of clean vehicles on the road by 2020. To date, CARB has helped facilitate more than 700 million dollars in investments in fueling stations and other alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure projects statewide. These projects are part of strategic public-private partnerships (PPP) that have resulted in increased consumer adoption rates for electric vehicles (EVs).


Alternative fuel vehicles are a growing segment of the vehicle market, with California leading all states in adoption. The state has several policies and incentives to encourage alternative fuel vehicles, including:

  • Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) Program – CAV owners receive financial incentives for purchasing or leasing a qualifying vehicle, based on its greenhouse gas emissions rating and age. The program also includes rebates for installing electric vehicle charging stations at home or work.
  • Enhanced Fleet Modernization Grant Program – This program provides grants to businesses that replace old diesel trucks with newer models that meet current standards for reducing air pollution from heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).

Current Status of Alternative Fuel Vehicles in California and Nationwide

California has the largest number of alternative fuel vehicles in the United States, according to a recent analysis by the California Energy Commission. In fact, it accounts for more than half of all cars on the road that run on alternative fuels or electricity.

The Golden State has:

  • More than 200,000 electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids–more than any other state in the nation;
  • More than 41 hydrogen fuel cell cars;
  • Almost 2,300 natural gas vehicles (NGVs); and
  • More than 10 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses operating within its borders

Benefits of Strategic Public-Private Partnerships in CA

Public-private partnerships are a cost-effective way to make sure that projects are done right. They can also help with long-term planning, making sure that infrastructure is built with the future in mind.

With strategic public-private partnerships, California will be able to achieve its goal of becoming a leader in alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure development and deployment.

Infrastructure Investment and Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

A Public Private Partnership (PPP) is an innovative financing method that allows the public sector to leverage private sector resources. A PPP allows for the construction of public infrastructure without any direct investment by taxpayers, allowing governments to make use of private money in order to fund projects that would otherwise be too expensive or take too long without additional funding sources. PPPs can include many different types of partnerships between government entities and private companies including design-build contracts as well as more traditional procurement processes such as Request For Proposals (RFPs).

A Strategic Approach to Infrastructure Investments for Alternative Fuel Vehicles – Case Study Results.

The case study of a successful strategic public-private partnership is an example of how to create an effective and replicable model for infrastructure investments for alternative fuel vehicles. This case study includes:

  • An overview of the project.
  • The key findings from this study.
  • Lessons learned from this project that can be applied in other areas or by other organizations interested in developing similar projects involving strategic partnerships between government agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations.

Strategic public-private partnerships can help advance the infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles.

Strategic public-private partnerships can help advance the infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles. State and local governments can work with private companies to improve the infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles, including:

  • Public charging stations, which allow drivers to recharge their electric vehicles at home or on the go
  • Electric vehicle charging stations, which provide an outlet for recharging an electric vehicle’s battery pack at a parking lot or other location
  • Hydrogen fueling stations that dispense hydrogen gas (H2) by way of pressurized tanks


The results of this study demonstrate that strategic public-private partnerships can help advance the infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles. In addition, they show that PPPs are an effective tool to increase the adoption rate of clean energy technologies, reduce costs and provide other benefits such as job creation and tax revenue generation.