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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

Apply now for Minnesota electric school bus pilot project

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today announced an innovative pilot project for electric school buses that will expand access to clean vehicle technology and reduce harmful air pollution, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

MPCA will invest up to $3 million from Minnesota's share of the national Volkswagen settlement to provide a financial incentive for owners of diesel-powered school buses to replace them with new electric models. Replacing one diesel school bus with an electric school bus reduces GHG emissions by at least 29 tons over the life of the bus.

The request for proposals (RFP) is open to schools, school districts, and school bus companies, who are encouraged to partner with electric utilities in their applications.

MPCA estimates the pilot project will fund at least six new electric school buses, with buses expected on the roads for the fall 2022 school year. Successful applicants can receive a maximum award of up to $275,000 or 75% of total project cost (bus + charging), whichever is less.

A key goal for this pilot project is to learn more about how this clean vehicle technology operates in our climate. To that end, MPCA plans to distribute funding across the state, with one to two projects in each of four regions: northern Minnesota, central Minnesota, southern Minnesota, and the seven county Twin Cities metro area.

Grantees will be required to report quarterly data and information about the buses’ performance and reliability for one full school year. The data and lessons learned will help inform future electric school bus projects.

The request for proposals (RFP) has been posted on our website, and we will host an online training for this RFP on August 20, 2020. Please see the pilot project webpage for full details and information that will help applicants submit a proposal. Applications are due by 4:30 pm on October 13, 2020.

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