How to apply for free electric school buses


How to apply to the EPA's Clean School Bus program

The EPA Clean School Bus website offers information about program requirements, what’s needed to apply, and more via webinars, text, and more. Sign up for updates from the EPA and bookmark this page to keep up with the latest news on the program.

This funding comes in the form of a rebate.

Applicants are entered into a lottery once the application period is closed. Each fiscal year (2022-2026), the program will offer $500,000 for zero-emission buses only and another $500,000 for clean school buses and zero-emission buses. The total of each State’s grant awards each fiscal year cannot exceed 10% of the total amount awarded each fiscal year.

Before you apply:

  • Ensure your school district has applied for a federal unique identity number which is required to receive federal rebates and grants.
  • Set up a meeting with your district’s electric utility to discuss charging infrastructure and potential partnership to use vehicle to grid (V2G) to sell electric school bus power back to the grid during peak energy use hours.


The more schools in our state that apply, the more likely that Minnesota schools will be granted funds!


Qualified applicants aren’t limited to schools themselves. Eligible applicants include:

  • State and local governmental entities responsible for:
    1. providing bus service to 1 or more public school systems; or
    2. the purchase of school buses
  • Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, or tribally controlled schools that are responsible for:
    1. providing school bus service to 1 or more Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded schools; or
    2. the purchase of school buses
  • Nonprofit School Transportation Associations
  • Eligible contractors

Even if your district gets buses through a contractor, you can still apply. Two-thirds of buses in Minnesota are owned by contractors, but all these buses are eligible. The school needs to play a part in the process, however. More details on the application process can be found on the EPA’s website.

While there are no environmental justice requirements to receive this money, school districts listed in the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) school district estimates for 2021 — those having 20% or more students living in poverty, rural school districts, and tribal school districts — are prioritized to ensure this program is getting to the communities who need it most. 

  • The 2023 Rebate Program prioritized school district list is here.
  • School Districts are able to self-certify to qualify as a priority school district for the 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates Program. The requirements for this self-certification are listed here

This funding differs from past opportunities. This is NEW funding, not Volkswagen money connected with the MPCA.  It does not have the same requirements as previously-announced funding from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Buses and chargers are fully paid for by the federal government through this program.

Funds are distributed via a lottery system. Minnesota benefits if as many schools as possible apply!

From benefits to health, academics, the environment, and the economy, electric school buses have a lot to offer. Check out this page for more!


Don’t see the information you need? Email — We’re more than happy to help!

About us

MN350 is part of the Coalition for Clean Transportation, a team of Minnesota-based clean energy, environmental, and social justice advocacy groups working on transportation improvement. As part of this coalition, MN350 wants to support schools in the transition from dirty diesel buses to zero-emission school buses as part of a larger goal to transition all vehicles — large and small — to zero emissions. We want to support schools, contractors, tribes, and communities interested in electrifying their school bus fleets.

Our team advocated for electric school buses to be taken seriously at the state level this legislative session — and we won! Now we are focusing on:

  • Connecting people who want to see their school districts get clean electric school buses and take advantage of this funding opportunity
  • Connecting schools to resources to apply for and receive electric school bus grants.

If you have questions, want to connect with others in your school district, or need advice on how to approach your school board about getting more electric school buses, please reach out to our team!