ComEd in northern Illinois introduced the rebate porograms for business and public sector customers, including school districts.  -  Image: Canva

ComEd in northern Illinois introduced the rebate porograms for business and public sector customers, including school districts.

Image: Canva

New initiatives in northern Illinois could help accelerate the transition to electric school bus fleets in that state.

ComEd has launched business and public sector EV rebate programs that will provide a total of $87 million in 2024 to mitigate up-front costs of vehicle purchases and incentivize the buildout of charging infrastructure.

The rebate programs will start accepting applications on Feb. 15.

“Working with our partners in northern Illinois, ComEd is committed to helping customers benefit from zero emissions vehicles, which can significantly reduce pollution and enhance air quality for all residents across our communities,” said Erica Borggren, ComEd vice president of customer solutions, in a news release. “Through new targeted incentives, we are aiming to accelerate the transition toward all-electric fleets, cars, buses, and trucks, while at the same time catalyzing the buildout of a regional network of public EV charging to serve more customers – a key factor to growing EV adoption equitably.”

Here are five takeaways from ComEd’s announcement:

Substantial Financial Support for School Transportation Fleets

ComEd's new rebate programs offer a significant financial boost for school transportation directors in northern Illinois. With a total of $87 million allocated for 2024, including $57 million for EV purchases and $30 million for infrastructure upgrades, the rebate programs could substantially reduce the upfront costs associated with adopting electric vehicles for school fleets.

Equity-Focused Fleet Transportation Initiatives

More than half of the rebate funding is specifically reserved for equity-eligible communities. This focus on equity ensures that school districts serving low-income areas have enhanced opportunities to access the benefits of electric vehicles, aligning with broader state goals outlined in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA).

Broad Applicability for School Districts

The rebate programs cater to a diverse range of business and public sector customers, including school districts. School transportation directors can benefit from rebates ranging from $5,000 to $180,000 for each electric vehicle purchase, including K-12 school buses.

Comprehensive Fleet Infrastructure Support

The rebate programs extend beyond vehicle purchases to support the necessary electrical infrastructure. With rebates of up to $8,000 per Level 2 EV charger plug and up to $1,000 per kW for Level 3 chargers, schools can enhance their charging infrastructure and contribute to the development of a robust regional network of public EV charging stations.

Strategic Planning Assistance for Rebate Recipients

ComEd's commitment to supporting electric fleet adoption is reinforced by additional resources such as customized fleet assessments and the ComEd Fleet Toolkit. School transportation directors can leverage these tools to estimate costs, determine optimal charging solutions, and plan the installation of charging infrastructure based on available load capacity, streamlining the transition to electric vehicles.

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