EPA announces $1B in grants for electric school buses and heavy-duty vehicles

Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $1 billion in grants to replace gas heavy-duty vehicles and school buses with electric vehicles.

The Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program will support the adoption and deployment of eligible Class 6 and 7 electric vehicles while also funding charging infrastructure and workforce development and training.

There are two program sub-competitions for the EPA grants:

  • The School Bus Sub-Program for applicants replacing school buses (70% of funding)
  • The Vocational Vehicles Sub-Program for applicants replacing non-school bus Class 6 and 7 vehicles. That includes box trucks, refuse haulers, dump trucks, street sweepers, delivery trucks, bucket trucks, and utility trucks (30% of funding)

The Inflation Reduction Act statute requires that at least $400 million of the program’s funding go to projects that will serve one or more communities dealing with significant pollution as defined by EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Over 3 million Class 6 and Class 7 vehicles are currently in use in the US, spanning a wide variety of vehicle types and vocations, including school buses, refuse haulers, and utility and delivery trucks.

The grant program is funded through the Inflation Reduction Act under President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda.

“In addition to all the progress we’re making to electrify light-duty vehicles, today’s funding from the EPA will catalyze projects that bring electric school buses, garbage trucks, and delivery vans to neighborhoods across America – reducing pollution in our communities and creating good-paying manufacturing jobs,” said John Podesta, senior advisor to the President for International Climate Policy.

The transportation sector is the US’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and a leading source of health-harming pollution.

Most of the vehicles eligible for replacement are powered by internal combustion engines that pre-date recent EPA emission standards. Pollution from these vehicles is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, among other serious health problems. Children, older adults, those with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease, and those of lower socioeconomic status are at higher risk.

Sierra Club’s director of the Clean Transportation for All campaign Katherine Garcia said, “The Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to electrifying our largest vehicles – our school buses, transit buses, garbage trucks, semi-trucks, and others – will make a tangible difference for kids, school bus drivers, truck drivers, and communities living closest to highly trafficked roads and highways.”


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