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2023 Update
V. Identify Funding for Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

This section identifies funding mechanisms for light-duty vehicles, buses, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and charging infrastructure. There are increasing options for local governments to fund both electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Financing options, incentives (like rebates and tax credits), public/private programs as well as grants and vouchers have all been used to reduce or cover upfront costs.


Of note, funding these projects will require coordination across a multitude of departments that have not traditionally been involved in purchasing decisions. For example, in working out the charging infrastructure: the public services department may be involved in engaging with the local utility; the public works department may help decide where to site the equipment; the finance department may handle the purchase of the units; the information technology department may handle the wifi and software.

Funding Mechanisms Matrix

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 

In November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) was signed codifying the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA). Consequently, the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was created to facilitate collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Joint Office will align resources and expertise across the two departments and will help with the implementation of programs that seek to deploy a network of electric vehicle chargers and zero-emission transit and school buses. Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook was released that contains information about all the programs included in the BIL-including several other electric transportation-related programs.

Inflation Reduction Act 

The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law on October 16, 2022, and is the federal government’s most significant investment in clean energy and transportation ever. The Inflation Reduction Act Guidebook was released and contains information about all the programs included in the IRA-including many electric transportation-related funding mechanisms.

A. Funding for Vehicles 
Image by Robert Linder

1. Federal Funding and Financing for Vehicles 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act combined  include billions of dollars to fund dozens of new and existing programs for states, cities, towns, and municipalities. It is especially impactful because many of the previous funding mechanisms like tax credits that were inaccessible by agencies without tax liability have been made available with the new laws. 

Federal Programs:

  • Internal Revenue Service | Commercial Vehicles Tax Credit: The Inflation Reduction Act created a new credit that a city, town, or village could utilize as a direct pay tax credit of up to 30 percent when they purchase a qualifying commercial vehicle.   

  • Environmental Protection Agency | Clean School Bus Program: With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion (FY 2022-2026) to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. The program will alternate between a rebate and a grant structure. 

  • Environmental Protection Agency | Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program: The Inflation Reduction Act invests $1 billion to replace dirty class 6 & 7 heavy-duty vehicles with clean, zero-emission vehicles, support zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, and to train and develop workers.

  • Department of Energy | Renew America’s Schools Grant:  With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE will invest $500 million to make clean energy improvements at K-12 public schools. Funds are intended for upgrades that will lower facilities’ energy costs and can include alternative vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure improvements.




2. State Funding For Vehicles

Several Southeast states have used Volkswagen Settlement funds to purchase electric transit and school buses. SACE tracks this data in our Report: Transportation Electrification in the Southeast. Southeast states have awarded $170 million of the $427 million allocated to them from the VW Settlement. To date, 55 percent of those awards have gone towards EVs and EV charging. 





Go Deeper on VW Settlement Funding

3. Local and Utility Funding for Vehicles

Your local utility’s plan or policies may encourage and provide financial support for certain types of EVs and vehicle classes. 



  • Orlando-LYNX-OUC-Proterra: With Orlando’s assistance, LYNX applied funding from a Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase seven battery electric buses, which will be procured through Proterra Inc. Orlando Utilities Commission assisted in the procurement of charging stations and batteries to help LYNX successfully deploy the project.

  • West Palm Beach and FPL

  • Duke NC School Bus Program 

B. Funding for Charging Infrastructure
Image by John Cameron

1. Federal Incentives for Charging Infrastructure

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Bipartisan Bill and Inflation Reduction Act have several specific funding priorities earmarked for charging infrastructure and some that combine energy efficiency programs, energy justice, or greenhouse gas reduction actions with transportation and allow for charging infrastructure to be included. Guidance has not been released for all of these emerging programs and the toolkit will be updated as they become available.

Federal Programs:




2. State Incentives for Charging Infrastructure

Several Southeast states have used Volkswagen Settlement funds to install EV charging stations. SACE tracks this data in our Report: Transportation Electrification in the Southeast. Southeast states have awarded $170 million of the $427 million allocated to them from the VW Settlement. To date, 55 percent of those awards have gone towards EVs and EV charging. In addition to those funds, some states offer tax credits for EVSE. 





3. Local Incentives for Charging Infrastructure 

Municipalities can offer a rebate for the equipment and labor costs associated with the installation of both public and private EV charging stations. Municipalities can direct residents toward grant opportunities such as the Charge Up! program, which covers up to 50% of EVSE costs. The funds come from pollution recovery fees.



4. Utility Incentives for Charging Infrastructure

Utilities across the region are increasingly investing in charging infrastructure. Utility spending is tracked by SACE in our Electrification in the Southeast report. Some utilities offer rebates on the charging equipment or offer make ready credits. 


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