Over the past few months, the federal government has stepped up its pace of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) related to clean transportation. Some of these have since closed, while others remain open. The federal funding announcements are indicative of a pattern that is likely to continue over the next few years.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and others have been active. Here are just a few examples of federal funding opportunities related to clean transportation, especially deployment:
On March 10, the DOE released three Notices of Intent (NOI) related to sustainable transportation: Super-Truck, Low Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D) and Bioenergy. The low GHG will invite innovative solutions for on- and off-road vehicles to support the reduction of emissions and increased efficiencies in the transportation sector. To achieve this, areas that could be explored include community-level electric vehicle (EV) demonstrations, EV infrastructure and charging, and advanced engines and fuels that reduce emissions. It includes several anticipated areas of interest (AOIs) related to Clean Cities and deployment. A full FOA may come within the next two weeks.
On February 11, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) within the DOE issued a FOA focused on early-stage research focused on climate solutions. This included transportation and explicitly called out inter-disciplinary and collaboration across energy sectors. ARPA-E isn’t focused on deployment, but this funding helps accelerate technologies along that path. Concept papers are due April 6.
The DOE also issued a FOA in December 2020. One of the Areas of Interest focused on innovative Energy Efficient Mobility Systems. Concept papers were due on February 5. One of the AOIs focused on demonstration and encouraged collaboration with Clean Cities coalitions.
The DOT issued a large FOA focused on infrastructure projects. According to the announcement, “for the first time, the USDOT seeks INFRA projects that address climate change and environmental justice. Projects will be evaluated on whether they were planned as part of a comprehensive strategy to address climate change, or whether they support strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as deploying zero-emission-vehicle infrastructure or encouraging modal shift and a reduction in vehicle-miles-traveled. that explicitly address climate change and racial equity.” Only state transportation departments and regional planning agencies are eligible to apply directly, but broad partnerships are strongly encouraged. Deadline for submissions is March 19. In addition, DOT also recently issued it’s solicitation for the low and zero emissions (Lo-No) transit bus program.
The EPA published a FOA under their Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) on January 14. As usual, projects that replace old off and on-road diesel equipment are sought. Under this competition, between 40 and 70 awards are anticipated. Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, and non-profit organizations focused on transportation and air quality. The deadline was March 16.
Finally, the EPA also published two small FOAs under The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program. The EJCPS focused on several categories including one to assist people living and working near ports across the country. The EJSG solicitation is focused on awards to five applications per EPA region of up to $50,000 each. It also includes additional projects also focused on clean air issues at coastal and inland ports or rail yards.
It’s likely that more opportunities will be forthcoming. For more information, including opportunities to collaborate, contact Brandon Jones, Manager of Consulting Services at Clean Fuels Ohio at brandon@CleanFuelsOhio.org.