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EPA Announces Over $9 Million to Replace Dirty Diesel School Buses

Natural Gas Buses Eligible for up to $20,000 Rebate per Bus

NGVAmerica today shared the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of its 2018 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Program.  Applications open October 1 and close November 6.

Eligible applicant entities include regional, state, and tribal agencies that have jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including school districts and municipalities, as well as private entities that operate school buses under a contract with those entities.  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 buses may submit up to two rebate applications, each listing up to 10 buses for scrappage and replacement.

Eligible old school buses to be replaced must be used to transport 10 or more students to school or home and be driven 10,000 miles or more over the last 12 months at least 3 days per week during the school year.  The participating bus engine and chassis must be scrapped and replaced with an eligible replacement bus powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine.

Replacement buses must be purchased and not leased or leased-to-own.  The rebate reimbursement is $15,000 for replacement buses between 10,0001-19,500 lbs. GVWR and $20,000 for replacement buses with GVWR of 19,501 or higher.

New natural gas buses are the most sensible replacement buses since the cleanest heavy-duty engine in the world is powered by natural gas, certified to a 0.02 g/bhp-hr standard.  Natural gas is among the most proven, cleanest, and affordable school bus powertrain solutions commercially-available today.

Natural gas engines are certified by both the EPA and CARB to perform 90 percent cleaner than their cleanest diesel-burning counterparts and 90 percent cleaner than the EPA’s current NOx standard.  And when powered by renewable natural gas (RNG) captured from agricultural, food, landfill, or wastewater waste, the result in many cases can be a carbon neutral or even negative product.

Dollar-for-dollar, natural gas vehicles deliver the most cost-effective NOx emissions reductions compared to the cleanest diesel alternative or limited and unproven electric options – 95 percent more cost effective than diesel and 53 percent more cost-effective than electric per lbs. of NOX reduced.

More information on the 2018 DERA School Bus Rebate Program can be accessed here.