On Sep. 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would double funding for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate program this year following increased demand in school districts from all 50 states for zero-emission school buses. The initial funding of $500 million was not nearly enough to cover school districts across the entire country, so as a result the EPA doubled funding to $965 million for the first round of the multi-year rebate opportunity.
The EPA additionally reveals that in the coming months they intend to designate new rounds of the program towards ambitious grant competition and providing availability of another $1 billion for clean school buses in 2023. Furthermore, the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate prioritizes low-income, rural, and indigenous communities, thereby reducing costs of maintenance, fuel, and transportation where it makes the most impact.
The EPA received around 2,000 applications and requests for over $4 billion to cover the cost of more than 12,000 low to zero emission school buses across the country. 90% of buses requested were for zero-emission electric buses, with the next most requested at 9% being propane fueled.
Final selections and determination of eligibility is currently undergoing review by the EPA, who anticipate notifying rebate applicants of their selection status in October of 2022. Once notified, school districts can proceed with purchasing new buses along with eligible infrastructure. After Selectees have submitted Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they ordered new buses and/or equipment, they will be eligible to receive rebate funds.
The EPA along with the VCC heavily encourage those school districts that were not selected in the first round of rebates–or those who did not apply this funding cycle–to participate in future rounds of the program! For more information visit the EPA Clean School Bus Program website.