Federal and regional governments realize the importance of reducing transportation-related emissions. Therefore, they have allocated billions of dollars toward accelerating the 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 money?
Below, are three tips that will strengthen your success in securing free money for your next clean vehicle purchase.
1. Do your homework
Funding is plentiful and changes quickly. It’s important to remain connected to the right organizations, so you’re aware of what opportunities exist for your fleet. Talk with companies operating within the alternative vehicle and fuel space—asking for available programs in your area.
You should also get to know your local Clean Cities group. You can find the office closest to you here. These groups provide connections to other companies that have been awarded money in the past—allowing you to learn from those who have already 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. However, this is an important section to review prior to applying. Some programs require “scrappage” which is intended to remove old vehicles from the road—replacing them with newer, cleaner 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 at the level of reporting that may be required for fleets that receive money. Typically, this information can be obtained from reporting that your organization might already be doing, but it’s good to know what expectations exist. You can ask for examples from the program facilitator, and if the agency is local, arrange a face-to-face meeting, so you’re fully informed and have all your questions answered.
3. Seek grant-writing assistance
Grant-writing consultants can significantly increase your chance of receiving incentives. By applying their learned best practices in addition to their deep understanding of each program and its required elements, they’ll do all the heavy lifting for you. In some cases, they even help 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 assistance with your grant process! By asking the right questions, you’ll increase your success rate in securing free money for the use of clean vehicles. While the above may seem daunting at first, there are many resources available to help. Like anything, the more you understand ahead of time, the easier the process will be.