The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $400M in federal grant funding for new clean school buses, including electric buses. In a change from last year’s rebate program, school district applicants must purchase a minimum of 15 buses and not more than 50 to be eligible; third-party applicants can request between 25 and 100 buses.
BEL views this change – along with a process to encourage coordination between schools and utilities – as an opportunity for collaboration. We know of one G&T already considering a coordinated statewide grant application. BEL is gauging interest and is here to support the efforts of our stakeholders with help writing grants or providing letters of support.
In February, BEL joined with EPA and the Edison Electric Institute in pledging to support coordination between school districts and utilities. BEL’s COO Alex Hofmann was with EPA Administrator Michael Regan in Kansas to announce the pledge and welcome the very first electric bus to Kansas.
Thanks to proactive outreach by cooperatives and municipal utilities, applications from rural school districts made up forty percent of the applicant pool in the first round of funding. Rural schools are receiving a substantial portion of the new buses. Ninety-five percent of the applications requested electric buses.
On May 10, the EPA is holding a webinar on the grant program at 3:00 PM ET. Register here. To join BEL’s Electric School Bus peer-to-peer platform, send an email to Tracy@be-league.org.