EGLE offers clean fuel grants to upgrade trucks, commercial buses, off-road work vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 23, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135
Debbie Swartz, Environmental Quality Specialist, SwartzD@Michigan.gov, 517-582-1578

Freight switchers, port and airport equipment, marine vessels, shore power will qualify for future funding

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today a three-part funding opportunity that totals $30 million for the replacement of commercial, mass transit and transportation support vehicles that move products with new models, including electric, alternative fuel and diesel vehicles.

The request for proposals covers medium and heavy-duty local freight trucks, transit and shuttle buses, freight switchers, tug and ferry boats, port cargo handling equipment, forklifts and airport ground support equipment. Funds will also be available in the future to install shore power for vessels that operate within the Great Lakes.

“The transition to electric vehicles is gaining momentum,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. “It’s important that all types of vehicles make the move to alternative fuels or clean diesel. This will mean healthier work environments for employees and communities across the state.”

The funding will be awarded through EGLE’s Fuel Transformation Program (FTP), which is funded by Volkswagen diesel settlement money allocated to Michigan. The FTP’s goals are to reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions and maximize air quality benefits statewide, reduce diesel emissions from school buses and increase adoption of zero emission and alternative fuel vehicles and equipment.

The application period for the first round of funding opens today for medium and heavy-duty trucks, and shuttle and transit buses (Classes 4-8). A total of $16 million is available for alternative fuel or diesel vehicles with at least $8 million of the total earmarked to fund replacement of older vehicles with electric models. Grants range from $100,000 to $5 million. School buses are not eligible for funding. The request for proposals information is posted on the Fuel Transformation Program website.

The other two categories of vehicles that will qualify for future grants are:

  • Freight switchers, Great Lakes tugs and ferry boats, and shore power. $9 million available. Vehicles can be replaced or repowered with new electric, alternative fuel or diesel vehicles. Additionally, power for shore-side systems can be installed for vessels that operate within the Great Lakes. Grants range from $100,000 to $5 million.
  • Airport ground support equipment, port cargo handling equipment, and forklifts. $5 million available. Replacements must be electric vehicles or equipment. Grants range from $50,000 to $3 million.

A webinar has been scheduled for 1 p.m. March 9 to explain all three funding opportunities and answer questions potential applicants may have. (Editors note on 3/8: This webinar has been canceled.)

The Michigan Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan has details about the various vehicle replacement options. For more information about the RFPs, contact Debbie Swartz at SwartzD@Michigan.gov.

Michigan’s Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation settlement funds must be distributed by October 2027, a decade after the money was allocated to the states.

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