The 2023 Clean School Bus Program Has $500 Million in Funding Available

September 28, 2023
electric bus

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 authorizes EPA to offer rebates to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) models. The 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates process includes account registration, rebate application submission, review and selection by EPA, selectees will then submit purchase orders to request payment and then receive payment, which is followed by new bus delivery, existing bus replacement, and project close out. The program guidance and application process differ from prior EPA school bus rebate programs, so please review the summary of program requirements below and the detailed Program Guide before proceeding.

Overview of EPA’s Rebate Program

Important Dates

Date Activity
September 28, 2023 – January 31, 2024, 4:00 PM ET 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates Application Period Open
January 10, 2024, 4:00 PM ET Final date to submit questions prior to the application period closing about the 2023 Rebates to
February 2024 EPA reviews rebate applications and begins the selection process. EPA notifies applicants of selection status and posts list of applicants and selectees online. Selectees can proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure.
April 2024 – October 2024 Selectees submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating that new buses and eligible infrastructure have been ordered.
April 2026 Project period deadline for selectees to receive new buses, install eligible infrastructure, replace existing buses, and submit Close Out Forms.

To be eligible as a replacement, new buses must have a battery-electric, CNG, or propane drivetrain.

It’s similar to last year’s rebate program, with a few key differences.

Similarities to 2022 Rebate Program:

  • Lottery-based (not competitive)
  • 1-25 buses per application
  • Just one application per district, Tribe or third party
  • Third parties (dealers, contractors etc.) must get consent of district or Tribe to apply for them
  • Bulk of funds to prioritized districts (but now capped at 60%)
  • Upfront funding, upon proof of purchase order
  • Diesel bus must be replaced and scrapped (no waivers on scrappage)
  • Use portal to apply (This is district address info start that part now)
  • Support webinars available

Differences from 2022 Rebate Program:

  • $345,000 topline (maximum) per bus for prioritized districts 
  • $200,000 topline per bus for non-prioritized districts
  • 40% of funds to non-prioritized districts
  • Deadline to apply Jan. 30, 2024 (four months instead of three to mount applications)
  • “More” now includes workforce training development and consulting services (both optional)
  • $20,000 available for buses with wheelchair lifts