SACRAMENTOThe Air Resources Board (ARB) has awarded its first total hybrid vehicle certification for trucks and buses to a national school bus and truck manufacturing firm, Navistar. The move comes on the heels of CARB's new promotion of hybrid vehicles, which includes a $25 million program to provide vouchers to purchasers of hybrid vehicles, according to Capitol Weekly.

According to the ARB, the Navistar's hybrid van and truck technologies helped it achieve certification from the board. The company's line of hybrids includes school buses which can achieve 13 mpg, as opposed to 7 mpg or less.

Navistar was also recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001, for being the first engine manufacturer to meet the new emission standards.

With the new "Cash-For-Clunkers" bill proposed in Washington, as well as gas prices rising above $3 per gallon, the certification might not have come at a more perfect time.

The incentives offered by the voucher program can range anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000 depending on the weight class of the vehicle. In addition purchasers of the CARB-certified DuraStar Hybrid models or IC Bus hybrids will receive additional vouchers worth $5,000 from the incentive.

The incentives come from the Assembly Bill 118, authored by the former Speaker Fabian Nunez, in an attempt to cut greenhouse emissions from California Vehicles. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in October 2007.