Federal and regional governments realize the importance of reducing transportation-related emissions and therefore have allocated billions of dollars toward accelerating adoption of clean vehicles and related infrastructure. For fleets seeking alternative fuel vehicles, incentive programs bridge the gap between improving air quality and remaining economically competitive. But where do you start? What programs do you qualify for? And what do you need to do to receive any money?
Below are a 3 tips that will strengthen your success in securing free money for your next clean vehicle purchase.
1. Do your homework!
Funding is plentiful and quickly changes – it’s important to remain connected to the right organizations so that you’re aware of what opportunities for your fleet exist. Talk with companies operating within the alternative vehicle and fuel space – asking for the most recent programs available in your area. Some companies, like GAIN Clean Fuel, have an incentives section on their website so that you can see exactly what you may qualify for.
Get to know your local Clean Cities group. You can use this link to find the office closest to you: https://cleancities.energy.gov/. They can provide connections to other companies that have been awarded money in the past – allowing you to learn from those that have gone through the process.
2. Read the fine print.
All incentive programs have eligibility requirements. Often, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle or fueling station, you meet these requirements, but this is an important section to review, prior to applying. Some programs require “scrappage”, which essentially is intended to remove old vehicles from the road, replacing them with new, clean technology. If this is the case for a program you’re evaluating, you must have a vehicle ready to turn-in, satisfying the scrappage component.
Also, look into the level of reporting that may be required for fleets that receive money. Typically this information can be obtained from reporting your organization might already doing, but it’s good to know what expectations exist. Ask for examples from the program facilitator and if the agency is local – setup a face to face meeting so that you’re fully informed and have all your questions answered.
3. Seek grant-writing assistance.
Grant-writing consultants can dramatically increase your chance of receiving incentives. By applying their learned best practices in addition to deep understanding of each program and its required elements, they’ll do all the heavy-lifting for you. In some cases, they may even help you with after-the-fact reporting that may be required as part of the incentive program.
We’re linked to some of the best grant writers throughout the nation – let us know if you need help finding one and we can even cover the cost of their services.
Asking the right questions will increase your success rate in securing free money for the use of clean vehicles. The above may seem daunting at first glance, but there are many resources available to help and like anything, the more you understand ahead of time, the easier the process will be.