Colorado Offers Financial Support for Schools, Businesses, & Local Governments to Purchase Clean Vehicles

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Two new Colorado grant programs open for first round of applications

The state health department’s Air Pollution Control Division is now accepting the first round of applications for two new grant programs to fund clean vehicles. The Clean Fleet Vehicle and Technology Grant Program is open to any business, local government, or other organization that would like to use low- or zero-emission vehicles in its fleet operations. These can include vehicles that run on electricity, hydrogen, or recovered methane. The Colorado Electric School Bus Grant Program is open to schools and nonprofit organizations that would like to use zero-emission school buses and other electric vehicles to transport children. These would replace diesel buses that expose schoolchildren and communities to harmful air pollution. The school bus grant program can also fund associated charging infrastructure. Both grant programs are part of Colorado’s overall commitment to protect air quality and make clean vehicle options more accessible.

“The market shows that more organizations in Colorado are choosing electric vehicles. This is one of many ways we’re working to support anyone who wants to take advantage of the financial, health, and environmental benefits,” said Michael Ogletree, director of the Air Pollution Control Division. “Transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward clean, zero-emissions options is vital to achieving Colorado’s climate goals and protecting clean air.”

Vehicles that run on gas are one of the biggest contributors to the formation of harmful ground-level ozone pollution. The transportation sector also generates significant greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. These grant programs are one of many measures designed to help Colorado reach its goals in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap.

The air division held two webinars in March 2023 to share information and answer questions on the grant programs. A recording of the last webinar is on each program’s website. Registration is open for the next webinar on April 11, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. The division will schedule more webinars, if needed. All webinars cover the same information. Downloadable resources are also available on each program’s website, including a scoring rubric.

We’re committed to ensuring all applicants receive fair, expert, and timely reviews using consistent scoring criteria for each grant program. Two criteria carry the most weight:

When considering community benefits, the air division will assess positive air quality impacts and whether the school or operation is in an area disproportionately impacted by pollution. For transition plans, the division will examine if the applicant considered infrastructure needs, permitting, and other support for the project.

We’re accepting applications for this initial round until June 30, 2023, at 5 p.m. Then, the air division will review submissions and announce selected grantees later this year. There will be many more opportunities to participate. The division will reopen the grant programs for applications multiple times over the next decade.

The Colorado Energy Office will also soon launch its new Fleet-ZERO Grant Program to support charging infrastructure for electric vehicle fleets. This will be separate from grant programs through the air division. However, any fleets that are eligible for our Clean Fleet Vehicle and Technology Grant Program would also be eligible for infrastructure funding through CEO’s Fleet-ZERO Grant Program. Interested parties can sign up for updates from CEO on its infrastructure program.

Courtesy of Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment

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