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Calstart Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Chambers of Commerce & Business Leagues

Mission: To improve public health and protect the environment by reducing harmful emissions from the transportation sector, while working to support growth of clean transportation technology companies that create new jobs and economic opportunities across the united states.

Programs: Clean bus & truck purchase incentive programs: to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, calstart lead and managed clean truck and bus incentive programs in california, new york, and chicago. The voucher incentive program (vip) concept was initially developed in california and is now being used elsewhere. It is a cost-effective and direct method for reducing the cost of clean trucks and buses for fleet operators. In california, san joaquin valley air pollution control district provided additional matching funds to spur the purchase and use of cleaner trucks and buses in that region.

technology development and demonstration program: working with the federal transit administration and the california energy commission, calstart managed and participated in a number of programs to develop and demonstrate advanced medium- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies in california and other states. These efforts are playing an important role in making zero, and near-zero emission, lower carbon trucks and buses commercially viable. Among others, programs were launched to deploy both battery electric and fuel cell bus technology in areas ranging from stockton, california to canton, ohio. Calstart also completed a study identifying zero emission pathways for trucks serving major ports and heavily polluted regions. Calstart also provides third party assessment and validation of new technologies and vehicles.

member services and conferences: calstart provides a wide range of services, networking, and strategic partnering services to its 150 member companies. The members benefited from calstart analyses and information regarding new opportunities and trends. The organization held a number of successful conferences and events that brought leading industry officials and policymakers together, including the 2nd annual clean low carbon fuels summit in sacramento and the htuf conference in michigan.

other program services consist of research and data analysis projects performed for the transportation industry and related non-profits and government entities to develop models, solutions and reports on technology efficacy in greenhouse gas reduction, user acceptance and commercial viability of new technologies in light duty vehicles, heavy duty trucks, buses and fuels.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 4

We have worked with Calstart for more than 15 years on the development, launch, deployment, and scale-up of mid-range and heavy-duty natural gas engines and vehicles in California. Calstart has been at the forefront of policy and regulatory advancements in the state (and nationally) to drive the transition to a low-carbon transportation sector.

Calstart works with its more than 160 members to pursue the broad array of technologies and fuels best suited to a diverse and complex transportation market. California's global leadership on air quality, climate change, and sustainable mobility has been supported by Calstart's ongoing work to advocate for far-reaching policies like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, to secure funding for both vehicle and infrastructure incentives, and to promote the development of next generation technology to meet even more stringent environmental targets.

Review from Guidestar


Board Member

Rating: 5

I am the CEO of CALSTART. To get a sense of what we accomplished during our first 20 years you may want to visit watch this short video and hear why CARB Chairman Mary Nichols, Energy Foundation Transportation Program Manager Patty Monahan, and Executives from Volvo to TransPower back us and our mission.
Since we celebrated our 20th anniversary, our membership has grown, we played a key role in securing $2 billion in additional California funding for clean transportation investments that will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we have opened new offices in Fresno and New York. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me at jboesel@calstart.org or (626) 744-5607.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

My company has been following CALSTART for awhile, considering joining at the highest level. However, after reading what's available here, I don't see the value of the organization in terms of moving forward alternative fuels. Seems the org is all about than just heavy duty trucks and very little -- if anything -- else. Communication is a weak link for this group. I see they have multi-millions of dollars in their financials but it is not at all clear where the money comes from or where it goes. Salaries? Seems very top-heavy with very little if any return to participating organizations. We're taking a pass.

Review from Guidestar


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

This organization started out with the best of intentions but has evolved over the years into something so much less than it was meant to be. The CEO, John Boesel, and his executive team seem most interested in what works for themselves and their retirement portfolios rather than making the significant difference such an organization should when receiving donor dollars.

Review from Guidestar