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Oct 12, 2020


Back in 2010, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) allowed the US EPA to offer rebates to incentivize public and private fleet owners, including school bus operators, to replace older, dirtier buses with newer, cleaner-burning models.  Since that time, over 2,000 buses have been retrofitted or replaced under the programs.

Each fall, including this one, the rebate claims period opens, allowing lucky fleet owners to apply for rebates for buses they have scrapped and replaced with new buses.  There are some key dates to keep in mind, and the program’s rebates are awarded by lottery.  All of the information can be found at the DERA website, here.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering his program:

Eligible old school buses to be replaced must be…

  • …Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to or from schools

  • …Driven 10,000 or more miles over either the last 12 months or calendar year in 2019, or have been in use 3+ days/week between 9/1/2019 and 2/29/2020

  • …Owned by applicant without any active liens

  • …Class 3-8 diesel-powered buses [greater than 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)]

  • … powered by 2006 or older model year engines

  • …scrapped before receiving rebate payment

Eligible replacement buses…

  • May not be ordered prior to receiving signed EPA selection letter

  • Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine.

  • Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the bus being replaced

  • Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own

  • Rebate reimbursement is based on the fuel type of the replacement bus:

  • $20,000 for diesel and gasoline

  • $25,000 for propane

  • $30,000 for CNG/LNG

  • $65,000 for battery or hydrogen electric

  • Maximum rebate funding amount per application is $300,000

If you need guidance on this program, please reach out to your local Thomas Built by Ohio Cat representative.  Find them here.



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