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New Program Offers Free Technical Assistance to Develop Bus Fleet Electrification Plans

Feb. 20, 2024

electric bus charging

Today, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced the $5 million Clean Bus Planning Awards (CBPA) program, funded by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office). Managed by NREL, the CBPA program provides free technical assistance to create comprehensive and customized bus electrification plans for fleets across the United States through Fiscal Year 2024. Electrifying school and transit buses can help communities meet decarbonization goals and improve health outcomes. States and municipalities across the country are looking to electrify bus fleets—the transition to electric buses is more in demand than ever before.

The process can be a multiyear project for fleets, including in-depth feasibility studies of technology and financing options, a staggered introduction of buses and infrastructure upgrades, and continued performance analysis to ensure a smooth and affordable transition. The process can be intimidating for managers who lack support and resources. That’s where the CBPA program comes in.

NREL's application period for assistance and planning is now open on a rolling basis, giving fleet managers an opportunity to fully understand their needs before applying for support.

This new program will facilitate electrification in the first round of awards by helping managers create step-by-step plans to transition to zero-emission buses. The CBPA program also offers optional fleet deployment assistance that fills the gap between planning and implementation. Participating transit and school bus fleets will also be better prepared to apply for grants such as those from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program and the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Grant Program, to help pay for the electrification process. The CBPA will help fulfill the Joint Office’s mission to support convenient, affordable, accessible, reliable, and safe transportation system across America. Learn more.