North Carolina Governor Cooper Announces Grant Awards for Cleaner School Buses and Fast Charging Stations to Reduce Vehicle Emissions
(STL.News) – Governor Roy Cooper announced today that North Carolina has awarded nearly $30 million to replace 111 school buses and 16 transit buses and to install 33 zero emission vehicle (ZEV) fast charging stations across the state. The projects funded by Phase 1 of the Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Plan will reduce 31.8 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually – which is equal to the annual NOx emissions of more than 51,000 passenger cars.
“These awards not only put hundreds of children in safer school buses, they also reduce air pollution, encourage electric vehicle use, and advance North Carolina’s transition to a cleaner economy,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
The awards are the first phase of North Carolina’s $92 million share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s settlement with Volkswagen for unlawfully cheating on vehicle emissions. Gov. Cooper designated the Department of Environmental Quality to administer distribution of the settlement funds.
The competitive application process resulted in 116 proposals for two grant programs: the Diesel Bus and Vehicle Program and the ZEV Infrastructure Program. The awards include:
- $12.2 million for school bus replacements
- $6.1 million for transit bus replacements
- $4.2 million for on-road heavy duty equipment, including refuse haulers, dump trucks and debris trucks
- $1.8 million for off-road equipment (ferry repower projects)
- $3.4 million for ZEV DC Fast Charge stations
“Expanding North Carolina’s ZEV infrastructure and replacing aging, diesel engines with cleaner alternatives helps us reduce emissions and combat climate change, while improving air quality in communities across the state,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan.
In total, 54% of funding for Phase 1 went to projects in urban/suburban areas and 46% went to projects in rural areas. A total of 174 vehicles will receive full or partial funding for replacement or repower.