The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced a new round of competitive funding through the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program. This is the second funding opportunity for clean school buses from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Unlike the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates, this new funding opportunity is competitive – instead of a lottery. We encourage school districts to partner with other communities, transportation providers, and electric utilities for their application. Any eligible school district or third-party applicant must be set up on grants.gov and SAM.gov. Interested parties should confirm they are registered and current on both websites as soon as possible.
Why Electric School Buses?
Cost savings: electric buses get the equivalent of 17 miles per gallon (MPG) compared to 6 MPG for diesel buses; these savings can amount to more than $170,000 across the bus lifecycle.
Health benefits: electric school buses cut diesel emissions, benefiting communities burdened by air pollution and high childhood asthma rates.
Energy security and independence: electric buses can run on locally sourced renewable energy from a nearby solar or wind farm, which helps the local economy.
Electric buses have operated safely and reliably in many parts of the United States, including Michigan, Minnesota, and Alaska. Although electric buses are cheaper to own and operate than traditional diesel buses, the initial cost of new buses has been a barrier to adoption, and only a few schools have been able to afford them. The Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program is solving this problem by covering up to 100% of the cost of new buses so that schools can save money without a significant out-of-pocket expense. Sounds too good to be true? Check out this blog post to find the list of school districts that already received awards for new electric buses in Wisconsin.
2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Overview
The EPA is awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grants under the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program. The grant application will allow for a minimum of 15 buses and up to 50 buses for school district applicants and for a minimum of 50 and up to 100 buses for third-party applicants serving at least four school districts. Awardees will receive up to $395,000 per bus without cost-sharing or matching requirements. Applications must be submitted electronically to EPA through grants.gov by Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET).
Eligible applicants include the following entities:
- Local or State governmental entities providing school bus service to one or more public school systems
- Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and tribally controlled schools providing school bus service to one or more Bureau-funded schools
- Nonprofit school transportation associations
- Public charter school districts responsible for the purchase, lease, license, or contract for the service of school buses for that charter school
- Eligible contractors
Please refer to the grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for specific information about this
|Information Sessions||The first Information Session will be on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. (ET). Click here to register.|
|Deadline for Submitting Questions||Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET)|
|NOFO Closes – Application Deadline||Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET)|
|Anticipated Notification of Selection||November 2023 to January 2024|
|Anticipated Awards||February to March 2024|
Schools can submit questions to email@example.com. Please type “Clean School Bus NOFO Question” in the subject line of your email. The deadline for submitting questions via email is Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET). Schools may also contact Francisco Sayu, Emerging Technologies Director RENEW Wisconsin, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for general help with this grant application.