Regulators have approved a trio of Peterbilt trucks outfitted with a Cummins near-zero emissions natural gas engine for California’s green truck purchase assistance incentive program.

Qualified buyers under the state’s Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program can receive vouchers to offset $8,695 of the price of the 2017 Peterbilt Model 320, $8,694 for the 2017 Model 520 and $8,400 for the 2018 Model 567. All the trucks must have Cummins’ ISL-G engine.

The 320 has long been popular for the refuse and vocational truck industries. The 520 was introduced last year for refuse and recycling use. The 567 – which was just approved for the voucher program on March 15 – is an over-the road tractor used for refuse transfer as well as for freight hauling and construction work. The trucks start at well over a $100,000 and go higher, depending on how they are configured.

The three models currently eligible for HVIP funding are in the 33,000- 80,000 GVWR range and equipped with the Cummins’ 2017 model year 8.9-liter, 320 horsepower ISL-G Near-Zero natural gas engine.

Cummins introduced the near-zero engine last year and Peterbilt was one of the first truck makers to add it to its lineup.

The incentive will help California-based buyers interested in the natural gas engine’s cleaner emissions defray the additional cost of the advanced technology, said Tom Brotherton, truck program director for CalStart, the Pasadena-based nonprofit clean transportation coalition that manages the HVIP program for the state.

The Cummins Near-Zero natural gas engine has been certified to deliver 90 percent fewer nitrogen oxide, or NOx, emissions than the present limits set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

NOx is a byproduct of fossil fuel ignition and creates nitric acid in the atmosphere. It is considered a particular unhealthful component of smog and is linked to respiratory disease.

The California HVIP program is funded from state carbon emissions auction fees and is intended to promote commercial use of low-emissions trucks – primarily hybrid, natural gas and battery-electric models – by assisting fleets and individual owner-operators with vehicle purchases.

Since 2010, the program has provided incentives for 3,100 low-emissions trucks and buses in California, said Brotherton.

“HVIP allows fleets to purchase trucks and buses that might otherwise be too expensive, he said.

Demand has jumped significantly in recent months, with CalStart processing requests for $27 million in HVIP vouchers since November, 2016, almost triple the previous full-year total, Brotherton said.

The first vouchers for trucks equipped with Cummins’ low NOx engine were granted in January, and CalStart has approved 200 in less than three months, he said.

Peterbilt Motors, based in Denton, Texas, is a division of Paccar, the Bellevue, Wash., company that also owns the Kenworth truck brand.

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About The Author

John O'Dell

John O’Dell is a nationally known automotive writer, green technology expert and editor of TheGreenCarGuy.com. He previously wrote for Edmunds.com and the Los Angeles Times and served on the National Research Council committee that authored the seminal report “Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels.” He is regularly sought out for commentary on the advanced vehicles market and has been quoted by outlets including the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, National Public Radio, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post., The Detroit News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register, KABC television, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., and the IEEE Spectrum.

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