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Electric School Bus Grants

Current information (12/10/2023): The Minnesota Electric School Bus Deployment Program has not launched. The Department of Commerce is providing this information to you now and will update as new information becomes available. We do not yet have an estimate for a program launch date. 

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During the 2023 Legislative Session, the Minnesota legislature appropriated $13 million dollars for the establishment of an electric school bus deployment program. The purpose of the program is to provide grants to accelerate the deployment of electric school buses by school districts and to encourage schools to use vehicle electrification as a teaching tool that can be integrated into the school's curriculum.

Full details on the enacting legislation can be found in Minn. Stat. § 216C.374

The department is currently working on developing applications and other program aspects. 

Electric School Bus Deployment Grant Uses 

The purpose of the Electric School Bus Deployment Grants program is to provide grants to accelerate the deployment of electric school buses by school districts and to encourage schools to use vehicle electrification as a teaching tool that can be integrated into the school's curriculum. Grant Funds may be used: 

  • By a school district or transportation service provider to purchase one or more electric school buses, or to convert or repower fossil-fuel-powered school buses to be powered by electricity. 
    • Schools are eligible for up to 75 percent of the cost a school district or transportation service provider incurs, or up to 95 percent of the cost for prioritized school districts. 
  • Funds can be used for up to 75 percent of the cost of deploying, on the school district or transportation service provider's real property, infrastructure required to operate electric school buses, including but not limited to battery exchange stations, electric vehicle infrastructure, or electric vehicle charging stations. 
  • For prioritized school districts, funds can be used for up to 95 percent of the cost of deploying, on the school district or transportation service provider's real property, infrastructure required to operate electric school buses, including but not limited to battery exchange stations, electric vehicle infrastructure, or electric vehicle charging stations.

In awarding grants under this program, the department is required to give priority to applications from or on behalf of prioritized school districts and must endeavor to award no less than 40 percent of the total amount of grants awarded under this section to prioritized school districts.

Funds can be used to pay the department for the cost of providing technical assistance to eligible applicants, including, but not limited to, assistance with preparing applications for federal vehicle electrification grants. 

In addition to the appropriation mentioned above, electric utilities are also able to cost recover reasonable investments on infrastructure done on school property to support vehicle electrification. 

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