PRINCETON, NJ – President Obama has signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes significant funds for fleets, according to the NAFA FLeet Management Association. Included are a $300 million for Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants; $300 million to establish a grant program through the Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program; and $300 million for acquisition of vehicles by the federal fleet.

The funding is expected to move on a very fast implementation timeline.

Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) makes fleets eligible for $20-30K or more toward the purchase of each new hybrid medium duty or heavy duty truck, and fleets may purchase multiple trucks. 

EPA expects to issue competitive announcements for the DERA funds in late February 2009. NAFA advises visiting often for important updates and competition schedule information. EPA expects a 30-day application period for all competitive announcements.

This funding is limited to public and non-profit fleets.  A private fleet would have to partner with a non- profit, for example a private bus company for a school district would need to have the school district apply for the funds.

Eligible projects include but are not limited to:

  • Verified and/or certified retrofit technologies and engines by EPA or CARB. See (select Verified Technology List).
  • Emerging technologies by USEPA. See (select Emerging Technology List).
  • Engine Repowers, Engine Rebuilds, or Engine Replacements (engine sent to be remanufactured or scrapped).
  • EPA-verified Idle Reduction technologies (e.g. Auxiliary Power Units, Truck Stop Electrification).
  • Cleaner fuels.

EPA advises that prospective grant applicants should begin preparations now for the upcoming competitions by completing the following steps prior to the competition announcements:

  • Assess diesel fleets and identify eligible vehicles.
  • Establish eligible partnerships.
  • Prepare fleet and proposal descriptions.
  • Evaluate public health benefits, costs effectiveness, and emission reductions of the proposed project.
  • Review prior DERA competitive announcements.

Clean Cities

NAFA advises contacting the local Clean Cities Program immediately and visiting for updates.  The application deadline may be the end of March 2009.

The economic stimulus provides $300,000,000 to establish a grant program through the DOE Clean Cities Program to encourage the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles or other emerging electric vehicle technologies. This grant program may provide up to 30 geographically dispersed project grants. Grant recipients include state governments, local governments, metropolitan transportation authorities, air pollution control districts, and private or nonprofit entities. These grants may be used for the acquisition of alternative fueled vehicles, fuel cell vehicles or hybrid vehicles, including buses for public transportation and ground support vehicles at public airports. The installation or acquisition of infrastructure necessary to directly support an alternative fueled vehicle, fuel cell vehicle, or hybrid vehicle project funded by the grant is also eligible.

Federal Fleet

According to NAFA, federal agencies are strongly urged to use the funds to purchase plug-in hybrids.  Vehicles must be replaced on at least a one-for-one basis.  Each vehicle purchased must have a higher fuel economy, as measured by EPA, than the vehicle being replaced and the overall government-purchased vehicles must have an improved fuel economy at least 10 percent greater than the vehicles being replaced.