The state program is designed to give Minnesota applicants a better chance to buy electric buses on tight budgets.  -  Image: MPCA

The state program is designed to give Minnesota applicants a better chance to buy electric buses on tight budgets.

Image: MPCA

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering matching funds for some school districts that apply for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program.

“Our match program was established because the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wanted to encourage as many Minnesota schools to apply for the federal funds as possible,” said Lauren Lewandowski, spokesperson for the MPCA. “The federal funds are distributed through a ‘lottery’ process, so the more Minnesota schools that apply, the better chance we have of getting more electric buses in the state.”

The program also makes it possible for those school districts to receive as much money as possible for their electrification projects.

“If they don’t reach the top amount from the EPA, we will help schools and bus companies reach that amount, giving them a better chance to be able to afford an electric bus on already tight budgets,” Lewandowski said.

Qualifying for the Minnesota Matching Funds

The steps involved include:

  • Apply for the Clean School Bus rebate program before the Aug. 19 deadline.
  • If selected by the EPA, apply to the MPCA for additional funds. The state agency has as much as $125,000 per school district or eligible applicant to match EPA money and as much as $7,000 for a charging station.

Requirements for MPCA application:

  • Notification from the EPA that your district has been selected to get either $190,000 for a class 4 through 6 bus or $250,000 for a class 7 or 8 bus.
  • VIN number of the 2009 or older engine model year bus that will be destroyed and replaced with a new electric bus.
  • Primary address where the bus will operate.
  • Quotes for the bus and charging unit.

Who's Ineligible for the Matching Funds?

Don’t apply for MPCA funds if:

  • Your district is prioritized under the EPA program so that it can receive $285,000 for class 4-6 or $375,000 for class 7 and 8 buses.
  • You have a class 3 bus. Class 3 buses are ineligible for matching dollars.
  • Your bus is engine model 2010 or newer.
  • You don’t plan to destroy your 2009 or older bus. Selling or trading the bus isn’t an eligible option.
  • Your bus operates outside the state of Minnesota.
  • You already bought your new electric bus.

More details of the matching program are expected after the August deadline passes for the first phase of the Clean School Bus Program.

Originally posted on School Bus Fleet

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