EPA opens new round of Clean School Bus funding opportunities

May 26, 2023 By    

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) anticipates awarding about $400 million in grants under its 2023 Clean School Bus Program.

The program is soliciting applications nationwide – from state and local governmental entities that provide bus service ­– for grants that fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission school buses.

Eligible activities include the replacement of existing internal-combustion engine school buses with electric, propane or compressed natural gas school buses, as well as the purchase of electric vehicle supply equipment infrastructure and installations.

According to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), school transportation directors again can take advantage of propane’s clean and reliable benefits through dedicated propane autogas school buses or propane-powered recharging infrastructure. For every propane autogas bus purchased through the program, the EPA will provide transportation directors with up to $35,000, PERC says.

In 2022, the EPA solicited applications for $1 billion for zero-emission and low-emission school bus rebates. Of the more than 2,500 buses benefiting from the program, 95 percent were for electric buses.

“If we keep pouring money only into expensive electric buses – even with rebates or grants – only a select number of students will be able to see that reality” of having a safe, clean and healthy ride to school, says Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development at PERC. “We need to face the facts that it will take a mix of energy sources to achieve that goal.”

The propane industry is now providing propane-powered recharging systems as an affordable and resilient infrastructure solution, Whaley says.

Applications for the Clean School Bus Program must be submitted electronically through grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 22.

Featured homepage photo courtesy of Roush CleanTech

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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