Last Thursday (April 22), RENEW Wisconsin partnered with the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change and Slipstream on the 2nd Annual Earth Day Electric Vehicle (EV) Parade.
Several dozen EV owners and car dealers gathered in Madison with an assortment of all-electric vehicles, hybrids, and electric motorcycles, including the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, BMW Roadster, and the Harley LiveWire Motorcycle, amongst other makes and models.
Parade participants started at Brittingham Park in Madison, drove through the city and Capitol Square, and then returned to Brittingham Park. You can watch the parade on Channel 3000.com.
The parade was inspired by EV drivers who see the transition to electric vehicles as another tool in the fight against climate change. Other EV owners mentioned that EVs are fun to drive and even stand up to the challenges of Wisconsin’s cold winters!
For more information about the parade or upcoming electric vehicle events, please contact Jeremy Orr at (608) 210-1428 or email@example.com.
The Department of Energy recently announced $162 Million in grant funding to electrify medium- and heavy-duty trucks, expand electric vehicle infrastructure, and increase vehicle efficiency. This funding is an important step towards EV adoption, decarbonization, and emerging technologies in general. The programs will help to electrify transportation while allowing enough flexibility for project applicants to focus on different low emissions concepts that suit their communities.
The Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office are partnering on the “SuperTruck 3” funding opportunity, which will provide up to $100 million to electrify medium- and heavy-duty truck projects that increase vehicle efficiency and decrease emissions. The funding will be available over four years and can be used for:
- All-electric vehicle concepts
- Hybrid systems using renewable biofuels
- Hydrogen fuel cell technologies and hybrid concepts such as fuel cell range extenders
In addition to SuperTruck 3 funding, the Vehicle Technologies Office is offering $62 Million for on- and off-road vehicle projects that reduce emissions and increase vehicle efficiency. Eligible activities include the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and community-level projects that reduce barriers to EV adoption, such as the installation of EV charging stations at multi-family dwellings.
Concept papers are due May 13, 2021, at 5 PM EST, with full applications due July 12, 2021, at 5 PM EST. Applicants for both funding opportunities are required to submit a plan detailing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, including project benefits for underrepresented communities.
For more information, please visit the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange.
Update: The Request for Proposals (RFP) pursuant to the 2020 grant cycle of the Energy Innovation Grant Program has been posted on the Public Service Commission’s web site. You can access the RFP here. The due date for grant submissions is January 22, 2021.
October 19, 2020
The Public Service Commission approved $7 million in funding that will be awarded through the 2020 round of the Energy Innovation Grant Program (EIGP). The EIGP awards financial assistance that supports the Office of Energy Innovation’s mission relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, planning and resilience. In the previous round in 2018, the EIGP distributed nearly $5 million to more than 100 recipients. EIGP presently has a cash balance of more than $26 million.
The final order (PSC REF# 398392) was issued on October 16th, setting forth elements including (1) eligibility criteria; (2) eligible activities; (3) program budget; (4) procedures for tracking and reporting; and (5) development of the Request for Proposals (RFP).
The most important decisions rendered by the Commission are itemized below, interspersed with tables providing greater granularity on the program design and schedule.
- The following entities are eligible to seek funds through this program: manufacturers of all sizes; and cities, villages, towns, counties, K-12 school districts, tribes, municipal water and wastewater utilities, municipal electric utilities, municipal natural gas utilities, University of Wisconsin System campuses and facilities, Wisconsin Technical College System, public or nonprofit hospitals, and 501(3)(c) nonprofits (collectively MUSH Market).
- A budget of $7 million was authorized for the upcoming round. This represents an increase of $2 million from the previous round. The allocations for each of the four program activities are listed below.
- Projects involving all statutorily defined renewable energy resources are eligible for funding.
- The additional $2 million were allocated to Activities 1 and 2.
|Optional Available Funds Per Activity for 2020 Program Year
||Maximum grant request
||Available funds per activity
|1. Renewable Energy + Energy Storage
||22% up to $250,000
(solar PV only)
|$500,000 (other RE)
|$250,000 (energy storage system)
|$500,000 (solar + storage)
|$750,000 (other RE + storage)
|2. Energy Efficiency + Demand Response
|3. Electric + RNG Vehicles + Infrastructure
|4. Comprehensive Energy Planning
The Commission also approved a timeline for the upcoming round of funding, the milestones of which appear in the table below.
|Tentative 2020 Energy Innovation Grant Program Year Timeline
||PSC consideration of 2020 Grant Program Design – final order issued
||Final order issued; Circulate RFP 90-day application period
||Review and score proposals
||2020 EIGP Award recommendations considered; announce awards
||Contract negotiations; sign award agreements
UPDATE: Racine is set to get 2 additional new electric buses for a total of 8! Racine is leading the pack in investing in electric buses. The second round of Wisconsin’s Volkswagen Mitigation Program Transit Capital Assistance Grants were announced on September 9, 2020. This round, totaling $18 million, was awarded to Beloit, Wausau, Sheboygan, Madison, Eau Claire, Racine, Green Bay, and La Crosse. The funding will allow those cities to purchase a combined 34 transit buses.
Racine is again the only city that has opted for electric buses, getting funding for 2 more electric buses and the infrastructure to re-charge them. With this additional funding, Racine will be able to purchase 8 all-electric transit buses with Volkswagen Mitigation Program funding.
Between the first and second rounds of the Transit Capital Assistance grants, the Volkswagen Settlement Program has spent $50 million to bolster the State’s public transit systems. The total funding available to Wisconsin through the Volkswagen Settlement is $67.2 million, which leaves about $17 million yet to be awarded.
Published December 14, 2018
Racine is set to get 6 new electric buses!
The RENEW Wisconsin Volkswagen Settlement Blog reviews the Volkswagen Settlement and how Wisconsin allocated two-thirds of our settlement funding. A large portion of the funding is going to the Transit Capital Assistance Program for cities and counties to replace aging diesel buses.
Transit Capital Assistance Grant Recipients
The grant recipients have been announced! $32 million of settlement funding is set to replace a total of 58 polluting diesel buses in 9 cities and 1 county.
At least 6 of those buses will be electric, all in Racine. Appleton, Eau Caire, Green Bay, Janesville, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee County, Sheboygan, and Wausau are also award recipients.
Per the award announcement, Racine is set to receive $6.2 million for the 6 buses and overnight charging stations. Racine also wanted to install a fast charger toward the end of the route out to the “Wisconn Valley.” The awards aren’t yet final, giving parties time to negotiate grant terms.
Racine’s Electric Buses
Racine’s application states, “the new buses will attract commuters by providing a quiet, high tech experience commensurate with the new economic opportunities and technologies in the service area.” Of course, by “new economic opportunities and technologies,” they are referring to Foxconn. Which makes sense – a key aspect of the competitive grant program was to connect employees to employers. Foxconn voiced their support by signing on to Racine’s application.
It will likely be more than a year before the new buses are operating. Once they are in operation, the new electric buses will replace the oldest, most polluting, diesel buses in Racine’s fleet.
Benefits of Electric Buses
No matter where they operate, electric buses are a win for all stakeholders.
- There’s no diesel smell and no loud engine. Electric buses are more comfortable to ride in!
- Electric buses are cheaper to operate. Lower fuel costs and less maintenance means extremely reduced costs to operate.
- Fewer emissions mean a cleaner community for everyone. Whether you are a bus rider or not, everyone will benefit from the reduced emissions from switching to electric buses.
- Clean, electric buses can be powered by renewable energy. We can create the energy to run our transit right here in Wisconsin instead of sending billions of dollars out of state for fossil fuels.
I’m excited to see more electric buses being added to transit fleets in Wisconsin. They truly are a win for all transportation stakeholders – the riders, owners, and community at large.