Please see the two pre-announcements on school bus rebates below and share far and wide. Both of these programs have a simple one page application process. Once the deadline for submittal is received we simply draw applicants until we run out of funds.
The American Rescue Plan program is very limited and not all school systems will be eligible, but the other one is open to all school systems. We will fund at least one project in every state (if we get an application) for the larger funding opportunity.
EPA will fund $7 million for electric school bus rebates in underserved communities.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) appropriated funds to the EPA for “activities that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in minority populations or low-income populations” under several programs, including the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).
This program has not opened yet to accept applications. More details and supporting documents for this program will be posted on this page by the end of September.
On this page:
The 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates will offer $7 million to eligible school districts and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric school buses. Selected applicants that scrap and replace their old diesel buses with new electric buses will receive a rebate of $300,000 per bus.
The 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates will run concurrently with the annual DERA School Bus Rebates. The table below highlights significant differences between these two rebate programs.
ARP and DERA School Bus Rebates Differences
ARP Electric School Bus Rebates DERA School Bus Rebates
|Eligible Applicants||Targeted eligibility to underserved school districts, tribal schools, and private fleets serving those schools.
See Eligible Applicants section below to see if your school district may qualify.
|All public school districts and private fleets serving those schools|
|Replacement Bus Fuel Type||Must be electric||Can be electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or CNG buses meeting current emission standards|
|Bus Size||Old and new buses must be Type C or Type D school buses||Old and new buses must have Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 lbs|
|Rebate Amount||$300,000 per bus for up to 4 buses for a maximum rebate amount of $1.2 million||$20,000 – $65,000 per bus depending on fuel type of the replacement bus for up to 10 buses with a maximum rebate amount of $300,000|
|Number of Applications||Eligible applicants can only submit 1 application||Eligible applicants with fleets larger than 100 school buses can submit up to 2 applications|
Fleets can apply to both programs but cannot use funding from both programs on the same bus replacements.
Note: Specific dates will be added to items in the table below when the application period opens.
|2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates program opens. EPA begins accepting applications with scans of titles and registrations submitted to DERARebates@epa.gov||Late September 2021|
|Webinar for applicants||Early October 2021|
|Deadline for emailing applications with scans of bus titles and registrations to DERARebates@epa.gov||Early November 2021|
|Official selection letters emailed to selectees and list of applicants that were not selected posted online||First Quarter (1Q) 2022|
|Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses and EV chargers||2Q 2022|
|Deadline for submitting documentation of delivery of replacement buses and EV chargers and scrappage of old buses. EPA will send rebate payment within one month of receipt of complete materials.||4Q 2022|
Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents
- 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates Eligibility List (pdf)
- 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates Program Guide Coming Soon
- 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates Application Coming Soon
- 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Coming Soon
- Public school districts listed on the ARP Electric School Bus Rebates Eligibility List
- Districts on the eligibility list are estimated to have 30% or more students living in poverty based on the US Census Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) School District Estimates for 2019. States with zero school districts that make this cutoff will have one school district with the highest percent of students in poverty represented in the eligibility list.
- Tribal schools
- Private fleets that operate school buses under a contract with an eligible entity listed above
Applicants will be selected in a lottery, with prioritization for one tribal applicant and one applicant from the 10 EPA Regions. Depending on the amount of funds requested, EPA may run out of funds prior to selecting an applicant from each of the 10 EPA Regions.
Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced
- Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to or from schools;
- Type C or D diesel school buses powered by a 2006 or older model year engine;
- Owned by applicant or state government without any active liens on the title;
- Operational – Able to start, move in all directions, and have all operational parts;
- Have accumulated at least 10,000 or more miles transporting students over either the previous 12 months or calendar year (Jan. – Dec.) 2019, or have been in use for at least four days per week on average transporting students between 9/1/2019 and 2/29/2020; and
- Engine and chassis must be scrapped before receiving rebate payment.
Eligible Replacement Buses
- Must not be ordered prior to receiving signed EPA selection letter;
- Drivetrain operates solely on battery-electric power;
- Must be a Type C or D school bus;
- Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own;
- Not funded with any other federal funds or Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funds; and
- Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the original school bus
If you have questions, please contact DERA@epa.gov.