2022 Clean School Bus Program Overview

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 authorizes EPA to offer rebates to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) models. The 2022 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates process includes SAM.gov account registration, application submission, review and selection by EPA, purchase order submission and request for payment, payment receipt, new bus delivery and old bus replacement, and close out

Visit the EPA’s website for program guidance and more information about how to apply.

EPA Clean School Bus Program Important Dates

Activity Date
2022 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates open. EPA begins accepting online application submissions here. May 20, 2022 – August 19, 2022
EPA reviews applications and begins the selection process. September 2022
EPA notifies applicants of selection status and posts list of applicants and selectees online. Selectees can proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. October 2022
Selectees submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating that new buses and eligible infrastructure have been ordered. October 2022 – April 2023
Project period deadline for selectees to receive new buses, install eligible infrastructure, replace old buses, and submit Close Out Forms. October 2024

Eligible Applicants

The following entities are eligible to apply for EPA school bus rebates:

  • State and local governmental entities that provide bus service
    • Public school districts, including charter schools, with an NCES District ID are eligible to apply directly for funding.
    • Most State governmental entities would not be eligible to apply, but some, like South Carolina, own bus fleets and would be eligible.
  • Eligible contractors – Eligible contractors are for-profit, not-for-profit, or nonprofit entities that have the capacity to (1) sell clean or ZE school buses or related charging or fueling infrastructure to school bus owners or (2) arrange financing for such a sale.
    • School bus dealers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that meet these criteria are eligible contractors.
  • Nonprofit school transportation associations
  • Indian tribes, tribal organizations, or tribally controlled schools responsible for the purchase of school buses or providing school bus service for a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funded school

Private school bus fleets cannot apply directly for funding. However, eligible applicants listed above can enter into a contractual arrangement with a private fleet that owns and operates buses to replace buses that serve a public school district. 

A goal of the Clean School Bus program is to provide opportunities for as many eligible applicants as possible to participate. We understand that there may be questions about a school district’s eligibility to participate in the 2022 CSB Rebates. If interested applicants have questions about their eligibility after reviewing this webpage and the Program Guide they should contact cleanschoolbus@epa.gov with their specific question.  

Note: EPA will be providing additional funding opportunities in the near future and your input will be valuable in helping us design those programs to be as inclusive and effective as possible. 

Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced

To be eligible for replacement, old school buses must:

  • Be vehicle model year 2010 or older diesel-powered school buses that will be scrapped if selected for funding
    • If a fleet has no eligible 2010 or older diesel school buses and is requesting zero-emission school bus replacements, the fleet can either:
      • Scrap 2010 or older non-diesel internal combustion engine buses; or
      • Scrap, sell, or donate 2011 or newer internal combustion engine buses
  • Have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 lbs. or more
  • Be operational at the time of application submission – Able to start, move in all directions, and have all operational parts
  • Have provided bus service to a public school district for at least 3 days/week on average during the 2021/2022 school year at the time of applying, excluding COVID-related school closures

Eligible New Replacement Buses

To be eligible as a replacement, new buses must:

  • Have a battery-electric, CNG, or propane drivetrain
  • Be EPA certified vehicle model year 2021 or newer
  • Have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 lbs. or more
  • Not be ordered prior to receiving official notification of selection for EPA funding
  • Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own
  • Serve the school district listed on the application for at least five years from the date of delivery

For a complete list of eligibility requirements for new buses, see the Program Guide.

Available Funding

  • Applications can request funds for replacing up to 25 buses.
  • For the 2022 CSB Rebates, EPA anticipates offering $250 million for clean school buses and $250 million for zero-emission school buses. EPA may award more funding depending on demand and other considerations.
  • School districts applying directly for funds may only submit one application
    • Other eligible applicants may submit multiple applications, but each application must be for buses serving a different school district. EPA will not fund multiple applications for bus replacements that will serve the same school district.
  • The maximum rebate amount per bus is dependent on (1) the replacement bus fuel type, (2) the replacement bus size, and (3) whether the school district served by the buses is prioritized:
  • Applicants applying for replacement ZE school buses will, if selected, be allocated funding to be used for charging infrastructure installations on the fleet’s side of the electrical meter. Please refer to the table below and Section 4 of the Program Guide for more details on eligible infrastructure costs:

Selection Process and Prioritization

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 includes prioritization for some Clean School Bus applicants like high-need school districts. Applicants requesting funding for the replacement of school buses that serve a prioritized school district will be offered more funding per bus and receive preference in the selection process. Please refer to Sections 2 and 6 of the Program Guide for more information on prioritization criteria and the selection process. A list of prioritized school districts can be found in the Supporting Materials above.

Ease of Application

  • One page application plus bus replacement inventory
  • An application may include up to 25 buses for replacement
    • One application per school district
  • Application period ending on August 19th

After reviewing the information and EPA Program Guide, head to this site for instructions and access to the online application form.

Where to get a bus:

Virginia Bus Dealers

Blue Bird and Micro Bird Buses

Thomas Built Buses 

Transportation Contractors

There are many transportation contractors across the United States, but what sets Highland apart is the all-inclusive electric fleet subscription plan they offer— Under the Highland model, school districts can count on Highland to plan, finance, build, train, charge, and maintain their ESB fleet all on a fixed annual contract. Transportation contractors, such as Highland can help school districts through the transition from fossil fuels to electricity and are also eligible for the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program. Transportation contractors who serve public school districts can work with school bus dealers to apply for Clean School Bus Program funding and use the awarded buses to serve the school district. You can explore these links to learn more about the benefits of electric school buses, Highland’s model, and frequently asked questions.

Secure Futures Solar- 2022 Electric School Bus V2B (Vehicle-to-Building) Pilot Program

Secure Futures Solar, located out of Staunton Virginia, is looking to work with Virginia School Districts to apply to for electric school buses through the EPA Clean School Bus program and support them with their charging needs. Secure Futures will cover the difference between the EPA funding and the full cost of Electric School Buses and their charging equipment through a grant of up to $50,000 per school district. This pilot program will work with school districts to apply for funding, install chargers, and study bidirectional charging technology that will allow school districts to charge their buses off of the grid and then use that electricity later to power their buildings. To learn more about the program, see their one-pager here.