The California Energy Commission has approved more than $35 million in grants to accelerate development of clean transportation fuels, including natural gas. One of the grants is to the Gas Technology Institute ($4.5 million) for two demonstration projects: one with US Hybrid Corp. to demonstrate three hybrid natural gas trucks and a second project to demonstrate a natural gas version of the heavy-duty Navistar MaxxForce 13 diesel engine in partnership with Clean Air Power. Separately, a Buick-GMC dealership will receive a buy-down incentive of $16,000 for two natural gas-fueled medium-duty vehicles of 8,501 to 14,000 pounds. Additional natural gas transportation demonstrations will be included as part of a $14.4 million grant to CALSTART Inc. for demonstrating medium- and heavy-duty vehicles using advanced technologies and alternative fuels. In total, 29 vehicles of nine different types will be used and evaluated, ranging from all-electric battery vehicles to hybrid diesel-electric work trucks, shuttle buses and construction equipment.

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