The long-anticipated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean School Bus Program is now open for eligible applicants to apply for rebates when purchasing zero- or low- emission school buses.
The application submission window remains open through Aug. 19, and the EPA will review applications and begin the selection process in September. Applicants will be notified of their selection status and those selected to receive rebates can start purchasing new buses a month later.
An EPA spokeswoman on Thursday confirmed to School Transportation News that only newly manufactured model-year 2021 and newer zero- and low-emissions school buses are eligible. A new 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program Guide published by the EPA states that new replacement buses must have a battery-electric, CNG or propane drivetrain, and must be the model year 2021 or newer. EPA will not fund the conversion of old school buses to operate on battery-electric, CNG or propane drivetrains for this rebate program.
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The Clean School Bus Program was signed into law as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Nov. 15. It provides $5 billion over five years split evenly for the replacement of zero- and low-emission school buses. However, funding for this year’s rebate program is half the amount originally announced for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
In order to apply, organizations must have an account on SAM.gov.
STN previously reported on applicant eligibility, the rebate selection process, and the replacement of old buses.