Changing transportation for good

Pasadena, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 95-4375022


CALSTART is a nonprofit organization working nationally and internationally with businesses and governments to develop clean, efficient transportation solutions. CALSTART is a network that connects companies and government agencies and helps them do their jobs better. From technology firms to transit operators and from vehicle manufacturers to research institutions, we connect every element of the clean energy sector, offering customized services, information and programming.

Notes from the nonprofit

For economic, energy security and environmental reasons, we need to knock down the barriers to fast and fundamental changes in clean transportation technology, fuels and systems. Transportation has an immense impact on the planet stemming from three main challenges: urban air quality, energy security and climate change. Transportation accounts for 60 percent or more of the emissions responsible for dangerous smog in most urban regions worldwide. Reliance on petroleum –particularly imported oil– creates serious economic and national security threats. Transportation globally accounts for a third of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. If we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must reduce these carbon-based emissions in the next decade. The new transportation future that CALSTART is creating with its members and partners will help save lives, protect the environment, provide greater economic prosperity, and provide better and more enjoyable mobility.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Mr. John Boesel

Main address

48 S. Chester Avenue CALSTART Inc.

Pasadena, CA 91106 USA

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Subject area info

Climate change

Air quality

Energy efficiency

Renewable energy

Public transportation

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Population served info


NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Management & Technical Assistance (W02)

Management & Technical Assistance (J02)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


CALSTART’s Car Initiative focuses on cutting emissions and pollution while working with its industry partners to accelerate the growth of the market for zero-emission vehicles and significantly greater vehicle efficiency overall. Concurrently, we are actively engaging partners and working to develop new mobility business models that will reduce congestion.

Population(s) Served

CALSTART works with bus manufacturers, suppliers, transit operators and school bus fleets to develop next-generation technologies, accelerate sales of near-zero and zero-emission buses, and supports pioneering public policies that are helping to make clean transit a reality across the nation.

We’re working in the Midwest to help deploy fuel-cell buses servicing the NFL Football Hall of Fame, validating the performance battery-electric buses in the nation and increasing federal funding for low and no-emission buses. We are also working with School Districts to assist them with planning, purchasing and demonstrating advanced charging solutions. CALSTART is steering the way to a cleaner, lower-carbon bus future.

Population(s) Served

Goods movement is the fastest growing sector of transportation, but at great cost to urban air quality and the climate worldwide. CALSTART’s Trucks and Non-Road Vehicle Initiative is working to keep goods and services moving while reducing air pollution and climate change, growing jobs and increasing energy security.

CALSTART drives faster commercialization of low-emission, high-efficiency trucks and heavy equipment from 18-wheelers to bulldozers to port equipment. We continuously assess the state of technology and the market, identify barriers to progress, and work with private and public sector partners to remove them.

Population(s) Served

No matter what fuel powers a vehicle, CALSTART and its members are working to make it cleaner, less carbon-intensive and more economically viable. As a unique “big tent” organization, we convene fuel producers, fleets and stakeholders from every corner of the clean transportation technology industry. There are several paths to lower-carbon fuels, and CALSTART’s Fuels and Infrastructure Initiative champions all of them.

CALSTART is at the center of clean fuel innovation: from working with members to secure $1 billion in utility proposals for commercial electric-vehicle infrastructure, to amplifying industry support for California’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard, to hosting the Clean Low Carbon Fuels Summit.

Population(s) Served

CALSTART’s Innovative Mobility Initiative focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing mobility equity by leveraging emerging transportation models such as shared-use services, micromobility, on-demand technologies, and automated vehicles. The initiative takes a whole-system approach to design transportation systems that reduce the number of miles needed to access resources and opportunities, and shift trips to efficient, zero-emission modes. Focus areas include:

Last-mile deliveries: reducing the impact of package delivery through innovative curb management strategies and right-sized vehicles.

Personal mobility: putting the power of new mobility in the hands of communities, especially those historically and currently underserved by traditional transportation systems.

Schools and universities: complementing school bus electrification with multimodal mobility options and partnering with educational institutions as community anchors.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These numbers are approximate.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

With regional offices in four states, CALSTART manages programs, informs policy and breaks down barriers to clean transportation from coast to coast and around the globe. CALSTART’s expanding Regional Office network provides additional on-the-ground support to our members and our industry to help speed clean transportation adoption.

A program of CALSTART and campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial, Drive to Zero™ is working collaboratively with global partners to enable and accelerate the growth of the global zero- and near-zero-emission (ZE) commercial vehicle segment. Our goal is to help make ZE technology in this segment commercially viable by 2025 and dominant by 2040 in specific vehicle segments and regions.

Drawing on more than 27 years of experience and expertise, CALSTART provides services and consulting to spur advanced transportation technologies, fuels, systems and the companies that make them. Our clients range from companies working on emerging technologies to transit agencies piloting potential clean-energy solutions. See our staff directory to find the expert you need.

CALSTART’s 210+ member firms and agencies include manufacturers, suppliers, fleets, technology firms, academic institutions, government agencies, NGOs, power companies, fuel providers, banks and other businesses interested in the future of transportation.

In CALSTART, they find the tools and connections they need to thrive in the growing clean transportation industry. We have particular expertise in providing start-ups and early adopters with leadership, connections and funding to accelerate the deployment of game-changing technologies.

CALSTART provides members with:

Connection to a broad, deep and valuable network of clean transportation businesses, innovators, researchers and officials
Leading-edge information on technological developments
Help finding innovative partners to advance their individual goals
Information on new business opportunities and funding sources
Public policy work guidance and information

Action and outcomes are in CALSTART’s organizational DNA. It derives from its unique structure as a 280+ member-supported non-profit. CALSTART has real-world, hands-on knowledge and expertise on what can hold back progress and how to break through these barriers. The tool kit of action include:
•Driving effective and aggressive policies and regulations.
•Spurring faster adoption through targeted incentives and assistance informed by industry.
•Understanding industry and market dynamics and ways to accelerate transformation.
•Providing technical assistance, road mapping and guidance.

Emblematic of this powerful progress was the latest milestone of CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero program (Drive to Zero). It announced a landmark commitment (Global MOU) on the global stage at COP26 in Glasgow as 15 countries – Canada included - committed to 100% zero-emission new truck and bus sales by 2040, and 30% by 2030 as an interim goal. This never-before achieved agreement set a new standard for nations and industry to achieve and a framework to get there. Drive to Zero exemplifies CALSTART’s work and is in many ways an encapsulation of what the organization has done for 30 years: bring together industry and government partners and stakeholders; identify real technical, market and policy barriers to progress needed; develop the actionable solutions to move forward; and cause real and meaningful action to happen.


Fiscal year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.94 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 43% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of CALSTART, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $736,341 $763,445 $1,241,268 $741,547 $669,426
As % of expenses 2.1% 1.3% 1.0% 0.7% 1.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $625,240 $649,295 $1,142,118 $644,304 $588,462
As % of expenses 1.8% 1.1% 0.9% 0.6% 0.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $35,088,143 $59,004,549 $123,376,166 $103,313,426 $66,442,286
Total revenue, % change over prior year 4.6% 68.2% 109.1% -16.3% -35.7%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% 0.8% 1.5%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 87.1% 90.2% 96.9% 95.8% 91.1%
All other grants and contributions 11.2% 8.7% 2.5% 3.4% 7.4%
Other revenue 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $34,469,713 $58,241,104 $122,134,898 $102,571,879 $65,772,860
Total expenses, % change over prior year 3.7% 69.0% 109.7% -16.0% -35.9%
Personnel 11.6% 9.9% 6.4% 9.5% 22.5%
Professional fees 7.4% 6.8% 1.2% 1.9% 5.2%
Occupancy 0.5% 0.4% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3%
Interest 0.1% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% -0.2%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 80.4% 82.5% 92.0% 88.4% 72.2%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $34,580,814 $58,355,254 $122,234,048 $102,669,122 $65,853,824
One month of savings $2,872,476 $4,853,425 $10,177,908 $8,547,657 $5,481,072
Debt principal payment $62,929 $65,995 $66,750 $66,661 $66,660
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $37,516,219 $63,274,674 $132,478,706 $111,283,440 $71,401,556

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 6.6 3.9 2.9 3.0 4.4
Months of cash and investments 6.6 3.9 2.9 3.0 4.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.3 0.9 0.6 0.7 1.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $18,920,841 $18,701,652 $29,043,345 $25,504,581 $24,177,244
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $5,981,312 $4,098,540 $7,453,834 $16,234,528 $21,298,188
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $4,472,501 $4,471,490 $4,479,156 $4,505,706 $4,516,435
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 21.3% 23.7% 25.9% 27.9% 29.6%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 81.2% 77.2% 82.1% 82.8% 82.9%
Unrestricted net assets $5,379,219 $6,028,514 $7,170,632 $7,814,936 $8,403,398
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $5,379,219 $6,028,514 $7,170,632 $7,814,936 $8,403,398

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President and CEO

Mr. John Boesel

John Boesel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of CALSTART. The public/private nature of CALSTART is reflected in John’s background. Upon graduating from the University of California, Davis, in 1982, John worked in the California legislature as a legislative aide to then Assemblyman (now Congressman) Sam Farr. In that position he managed energy and environmental legislation for nearly four years. He received his MBA from the Haas School at UC Berkeley in 1989. After graduating from business school he worked as a commercial banker in Wells Fargo’s Corporate Headquarters building in San Francisco. In 1993 John joined CALSTART as the Vice President of Technology Programs. In 2001 the Board of Directors promoted him to the position of President and CEO. John serves on the Advisory Board for the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) at Stanford University and is also a board member of the Clean Vehicle Foundation.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization


Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization


Board of directors
as of 01/25/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Cynthia Williams

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/6/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.