The Funding Fireworks Show Is About to Start, Where Will You Be?

July 5, 2018

For those of us who have been in this industry long enough, we can recall the seemingly watershed moment when the Recovery Act offered $300 million in funds for clean transportation projects. Imagine then, what our reactions would have been if that pot was 16 times bigger…

Imagine no more: last decade’s Recovery Act funding now looks like a child’s sparkler in comparison to the nearly $5 billion in incentive funds on the near-term horizon. The $2.925 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust from the Volkswagen Settlement is certainly a tremendous opportunity, but those funds may extend throughout the next 3-10 years. More immediately, utilities and key states are leading the way with substantial investments in clean transportation funding and a clear commitment to reducing emissions throughout the country.

The near-term funding horizon is as bright as it ever has been. The problem faced by fleets and other stakeholders will no longer be where they can find the funds, but how they can secure the right funding opportunity.

Utilities Step Up to the Plate

In late May 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a $738 million funding package designed to support three of the state’s largest utilities advanced electrified transportation projects across the state. While San Diego Gas and Electric’s plan will support residential charging station construction, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison will focus its combined funds of $579 million on the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Fortunately, this is not just a California phenomenon – the New York Power Authority has pledged up to $250 million through 2025 to address key recharging infrastructure issues and potential market gaps. The first $40 million, to be invested by the end of 2019, will focus on highway and airport charging stations as well as the development of a utility-managed charging platform that will serve as a template on which communities can model their own programs.

Key States Continue the Steady Funding Stream

California’s 2018-2019 Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan allocates $455 million out of its total $1.4 billion to clean transportation programs. This includes $180 million dedicated to clean trucks, buses, and off-road equipment and $175 million for light-duty vehicle rebates. An additional $100 million will be dedicated to transit equity, school bus, and fleet modernization projects. Importantly, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission will be hosting workshops for each of these programs to gather feedback from stakeholders.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program announced that it is accepting applications to fund $5 million in grants for purchasing or upgrading alternative fuel vehicles, technology, and infrastructure. Grants will be offered for vehicle retrofit or purchase, alternative fuel refueling infrastructure, and innovative technology. Funds will prioritize vehicles used by emergency personnel in emergency responses, rescues, and evacuations.

To navigate these opportunity-rich waters, GNA’s Funding 360 Team has its fingers on the pulse – our relationships with leading agencies in each and every state provides us with the intelligence needed to help fleet managers, technology providers, and fuel suppliers identify and secure the best incentives for their projects.

What Other Opportunities Loom on the Horizon?

The near-term funding horizon is as bright as it ever has been and will continue to shine as it looks to the longer-term. The problem faced by fleets and other stakeholders will no longer be where they can find the funds, but how they can secure the right funding opportunity. In other words, fleets no longer have to wonder if there are funds, but how much they can win.

To navigate these opportunity-rich waters, GNA’s Funding 360 Team has its fingers on the pulse – our relationships with leading agencies in each and every state provides us with the intelligence needed to help fleet managers, technology providers, and fuel suppliers identify and secure the best incentives for their projects. We have made some of these funding resources available on ACT News, including the new VW Funding Project Competitiveness Calculator, an easy-to-use, complimentary tool which immediately evaluates a project’s eligibility for VW settlement funding.

The time has come to find the funding needed to achieve your company’s environmental and economic goals.