A consistent hurdle faced by school boards, transportation directors, and even the upper echelon of government agencies is the time, cost and stress associated with identifying sources of funding, and even grant writing services.
This is especially true of the vast amount of grants and incentives that exist to add electric school buses (ESBs) to your fleet, with added pressure to apply while the money is available.
Some grants pay for just buses but not charging infrastructure, some pay for charging infrastructure but not buses, and others pay for a portion of the cost of buses, and/or infrastructure, and other tech that will help your ESB fleet thrive.
Navigating the newness that is ESBs is no easy task: but fear not – there are teams of people out there ready to help take that stress off you- and some won’t even charge you for their time. But how do you qualify for their support?
Let’s look at what is needed to help you get a game plan together so you can pull in a professional that can help you get the funding you need:
Create a list of items and associated costs.
Build a “menu” of everything you will need to transition your school bus fleet to electric. This includes electric buses that meet specific range requirements for your routes, the kind of chargers you should consider, and infrastructure installation and maintenance costs.
By building out a comprehensive list, you can help a grants & funding team identify several options to help you cover some or all aspects of your EV fleet build. There is a very easy-to-use online resource available that can help you determine what you will need.
Understand that other sources of funding may be necessary to transition to electric.
Getting a general idea of the total cost of adding ESBs to your fleet prior to starting the grant writing process will be necessary. This will give you peace of mind on what your budget can handle and is very likely a required piece of information when applying for grant funding.
Thankfully, your local state, county, or municipality likely has environmental and clean air initiatives that would be happy to contribute to your cause. There are even special financing offers that exclusively set aside money for electric buses and infrastructure.
While grant funding can support many of your ESB transition needs, there are times when you may need to identify other funds to support this initiative, and that’s why a team that does both grant writing and funding identification is imperative to cover the cost of the project.
Get the experts involved very early in the process.
It’s important to start working with a grant writer, grants and funding expert, or grants team as soon as you gain interest and momentum about adding ESBs to your fleet. Many grants have a very short window for application submissions, and some come up with little time to prepare.
Due to the complexity of electric buses and their infrastructure, many companies are now hiring on-staff grant writing teams to help customers identify and apply for millions of dollars in grants.
For example, your local bus sales provider may have a grant writer, or you can reach out to electric industry experts like Nuvve – who have a dedicated grants and funding team available to you at no cost or obligation. Not to mention, our team has identified over $6 million dollars in the last 6 months alone!
Don’t sweat it!
Grant writing can seem daunting, and the anxiety that comes with waiting for that seal of approval on your application is one that many people in the school bus industry can relate to. These grant writing teams are highly motivated to get you the funding you need and keep the stress off your shoulders.
Plus, they’re happy to educate you on what it takes to be prepared for the process. They are all motivated to add ESBs to fleets around the country and are ready to support you.