Minnesota is investing up to $3 million of its VW settlement funds in a handful of electric school bus pilots statewide. - File photo

Minnesota is investing up to $3 million of its VW settlement funds in a handful of electric school bus pilots statewide.

File photo

A state agency grant will enable Minnesota to launch a pilot project to purchase electric school buses, gather data on their performance and report the results.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is awarding up to $3 million in funds from the state’s Volkswagen (VW) mitigation settlement allotment for one to two projects each in four different regions of the state, according to the agency’s website. Successful applicants will receive up to $275,000, or 75% of the total project cost, including vehicle and charging equipment.

There are approximately 5,800 diesel school buses in the state that would be eligible for replacement, according to the agency.

The electric school buses are expected to begin transporting students in fall 2022, according to the MPCA’s website.

Grant applicants will be asked for information on their buses’ performance for one full school year, including days in use, vehicle miles traveled, kilowatt hours/mile, energy costs of charging the bus, mechanical issues and resolution, and overall performance.

Applications are due on October 13. For more information, go to the grants web page.

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