If you’ve thought about purchasing electric forklifts in the past but held off due to higher upfront costs, it might be time to reconsider. Acquisition costs of electric forklifts may be higher than Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts, but the operating costs of electrics are significantly lower. Electric forklifts can save money on fuel, maintenance, and downtime, making the cost of electric forklifts significantly lower than IC forklifts. 

There are many other advantages to adding electric forklifts to your fleet. For example, electric forklifts are quieter than other forklifts, generally smaller than LPG or diesel-powered models, and omit zero harmful emissions into the environment.  

If you live in California, the advantages of purchasing new electric equipment are even more significant. Let’s examine two state programs designed to make electric forklifts more affordable.  

First, to help with the purchase of new electric equipment, California businesses can apply for grants to replace internal combustion (IC) forklifts, ground support equipment (GSE), and port cargo handling equipment (CHE) with new models with zero-emission technologies. Next, once your new electric equipment is in use, California businesses can make money by generating Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits and selling those credits to companies that generate deficits in the program. 

How to Get Free Money from California’s VW Mitigation Trust 

The California VW Mitigation Trust grants public agencies and private businesses money to replace IC forklifts and other equipment with new models with zero-emission technologies. Up to $34 million is now available to eligible projects statewide, and an additional $35 million will be available by mid-2022.  

Companies must scrap IC forklifts with more than 8,000 pounds of lifting capacity, GSE, and CHE to qualify for the program and replace them with new equipment with zero-emission technologies. 

The critical project requirements include the following:  

  • The old equipment must be scrapped (destroyed) for replacement and repower projects. 
  • Funded equipment must be certified, verified, or otherwise approved by the U.S. EPA or CARB for operation in California.
  • Funded equipment must be domiciled in and operate in the State of California for the duration of its project life. 
  • Funding recipients must report annually on operations for at least three years. 

California’s VW Mitigation Trust is a great program to help California companies lower the cost of adding environmentally-friendly equipment to their fleets. But we urge you to act fast! The grants available from California’s VW Mitigation Trust are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  

Click here to read the program guidelines, or click here to begin the application process. 

How to Make Money from California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program 

In 2016, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) designated electricity used in forklifts as a low-carbon fuel. Since then, electricity used in forklifts can generate credits in the LCFS program.  

If you are unfamiliar with the program, it is a simple concept. An LCFS credit is an environmental commodity representing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Each credit has value to regulated entities that generate deficits in the program. For example, forklifts that use electricity can generate credits. Refiners, or other regulated entities, buy these credits to offset the deficits they create in the program. 

We partner with a company that helps businesses make money from California’s LCFS credits. They take the hassle out of the process, and you receive a check for your credits. The average warehouse can generate thousands of dollars of revenue from LCFS credits annually. 

Remember, California aims to achieve 100% zero emissions for off-road vehicles and equipment operations in the state by 2035. Start the process now, and you’ll be ahead of the game – while saving and making money!  

Our material handling experts are standing by to help secure your new zero-emissions forklifts and other electric equipment. Click here to schedule a consultation today. 


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