School Bus Program

DAQ announced the grant awardees on Oct. 17, 2022. The 161 funded school bus replacements included 43 electric buses and all together will reduce more than 126 tons of NOx emissions over their lifetimes.

View award list

This program was intended to replace engine model year 2009 and older class 4-8 school buses used to carrying students to and from school or school-related events with newer cleaner class 4-8 school buses.

In Phase 2 of the program, $27.2 million in Volkswagen funds were allocated to the School Bus Program to assist interested parties to mitigate NOx emissions by replacing older diesel school buses.


NC VW Phase 2 School Bus Program Summary


Eligible Action Category

Eligible Fuel*

Program Funding Amount**

School Bus Program

Class 4-8 school buses**

All (electric, diesel, propane, natural gas)




*Electrification projects are a priority in Phase 2.

**DEQ is prioritizing electrification with the goal of awarding at least 50% of funds to electric school bus replacements.

To be notified for future Phase 2 announcements, please send an email with "Subscribe" in the subject line to

School Bus Program Timeline
Activity Date
Release of RFP March 7, 2022
Application open in NCDAQ Grants Management System March 7, 2022
NCDAQ Grants Management System new users webinar March 18, 2022
Program RFP information session March 25, 2022
Information sessions will be online and registration is required. Dates and times will be posted on our website,
Proposal application must be submitted in DAQ Grants Management System June 10, 2022
Proposal application evaluations June - July 2022
Phase 2 project selections July - August 2022
Grant awards announced October 2022

Eligible Applicants

For Phase 2, eligible projects for this RFP included projects submitted by:

  • Local, state and tribal government organizations.
  • Public or private nonprofit organizations.
  • Public/private partnerships where the lead applicant represents a public sector or a public or private non-profit. 

For Full details, read the Request for Proposal

Documents and Workshops

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Before you submit your application, check your eligibility in the RFP

When the application opens in your browser, download and save to your computer using the name format: YourOrganization_ProjectTitle_VWDiesel_Application.

Download the Spreadsheet

When the spreadsheet opens in your browser, download and save to your computer using the name format: YourOrganization_ProjectTitle_VWDiesel_Application.

Download Required Attachments Checklist

This checklist includes all the required attachments for applications.

Helpful Documents

Application Checklist

Additional Resources

Send Questions to DAQ VW Grants

A sample application from data entered into the DAQ Grants Management System and Vehicle spreadsheet are provided below.

Example School Bus Program Application

Example School Bus Program Vehicle Spreadsheet

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NC Phase 2 School Bus Program 03/25/2022

View the recording of the School Bus Program webinar held on March 25, 2022.

Download the School Bus Program webinar presentation PowerPoint.

How long does it take to get the Welcome to the DAQ Business Portal after you have sent in the Substitute W-9 and External Request Application? 

Typically, it takes a few days, but it can take a week or longer depending on the workload of the SAP team. Do not wait until the last minute to request access.

We are a nonprofit with a 501(c)3 but we are a school so exempt from requiring a charitable solicitation license. Is that still a requirement for us to submit or can we provide our 501(c)3 documentation?

Documentation for a 501(c)3 should be applicable. If not, we will reach out to you.

For a non-government applicant, is the charging infrastructure funded at 75% or $75,000 or is the smaller of the two?

For a non-government school bus project for an electric school bus, the charging infrastructure is eligible for up to 75% of the cost of the bus and the infrastructure. There are no limits on the cost of the infrastructure for the school bus program.

If we currently have a 66 passenger bus and need to replace it with a 72 passenger bus is that ok?

As long as the class does not change for those buses and it doing the same duty cycle, that should be fine.

When will this presentation be available?

The recording and presentation is currently available on the School Bus program webpage.

If we are already in the GMS system we would start at the new application button?


What does having you as a Third Party to help with the application mean? how can third party assist with application?

​​​​​​​Our partner agencies can assist with prepare the application. You can also have a consultant submit an application on your behalf but they would need a letter allowing them access.

Does the original bus need to be operational?

Buses must have a current duty cycle, spends 70% of duty cycle in North Carolina, and engine model year must be 2009 or older to be eligible in this program.

How is partial funding determined within a submitted project and should grant applications contain wording for priority in the event only partial funding is granted?

​​​​​​​We reserve the right to do partial funding. Partial funding is determined based on emissions reductions.

How competitive were previous phases? Any estimates on what percentage of applicants might get funded?

​​​​​​​We either fully or partially funded all of our Phase 1 applications – 111 out of 122 buses. This phase will most likely be more competitive. A cost share would help in the scoring of your bus in this phase.