19 February 2009

US President Obama has signed the economic stylus package, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new law includes $300 million for Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants, which will be available to fund diesel emission retrofits and other clan diesel projects.

The Act also includes $300 million for a new a grant program through the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, and $300 million for acquisition of vehicles for the federal fleet. All of the new funding is expected to become available on a fast implementation timeline.

Under the DERA program, fleets may receive grants towards the purchase of new hybrid trucks, and for projects that reduce emissions from existing vehicles. The new $300 million funding represents a six-fold expansion of the program compared to the 2008 DERA funding of $49.2 million.

Examples of eligible DERA projects include:

The US EPA is expected to issue a request for competitive DERA funding in late February 2009. DERA funding is limited to public and non-profit fleets. Private fleets that wish to receive funding have to establish partnerships with public/non-profit entities. For example, a private school bus company could partner with a school district to receive funding.

Resources on preparing DERA applications are available from the EPA web site, as well as from the Diesel Technology Forum.

The economic stimulus package also provides $300 million through the DOE Clean Cities Program to encourage the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles or other emerging electric vehicle technologies, as well as funding for US government agencies to purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Source: The White House