The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has two concurrent funding opportunities for the replacement of older diesel school buses (2006 or older) with new school buses.

  • The new American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates program will benefit eligible underserved communities.
  • The EPA also has open the traditional DERA School Bus rebate program that can fund propane, CNG, diesel, gasoline, or electric school buses. Both programs have a due date of Friday, November 5th, 2021.

2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates

“The 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates offers $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 electric bus.”

Informational webinar, October 6th at 1:00pm CST. Slides will be posted afterward.

Eligible Applicants

  • Public school districts listed on the ARP Electric School Bus Rebates Eligibility List (pdf).
    • 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

2021 DERA School Bus Rebates

“The 2021 DERA School Bus Rebates will offer approximately $10 million to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new buses certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards. Selected applicants that scrap and replace their old diesel buses will receive a rebate of $20,000-$65,000 per bus depending on the fuel type of the replacement bus.”

Eligible Applicants

  • Regional, state, local, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including public school districts and municipalities
  • Private entities that operate school buses under a contract with an entity listed above
  • Fleets with up to 100 school buses may submit one application listing up to 10 buses for scrappage and replacement
  • Fleets with more than 100 school buses may submit up to two rebate applications, each listing up to 10 different buses for scrappage and replacement

Rebate reimbursement is based on the fuel type of the replacement bus:

  • $20,000 for diesel and gasoline
  • $25,000 for propane
  • $30,000 for CNG/LNG
  • $65,000 for battery or hydrogen electric
  • Maximum rebate funding amount per application is $300,000

More Information

For program details, to compare the two funding opportunities, or to learn how to apply visit the EPA’s website. If you are considering applying please also contact us; we’d like to hear about your project.