Funding: Total: $24,500,000. Maximum awards: $100K-$8M, depending on project.

Dates: Phase One Registration Deadline: July 22, 2021 3PM EST. Phase One Proposals Due: August 26, 2021 3PM EST. Phase Two Proposal Due Date will be announced no later than January 31, 2022.


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks Proposals for the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge as part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, which are designed to advance clean, electrified transportation in disadvantaged communities in New York State, including, but not limited to, electric trucks and buses, electric cars, electric micro mobility, and other mobility services. The prizes will fund projects that will help overcome persistent transportation challenges in low-income communities and remove barriers to widespread electric vehicle use. The Electric Truck and Bus Challenge aims to identify and demonstrate ways to reduce the cost, system and operational challenges of further deployment of medium- and heavy-duty (MD/HD) electric vehicles (EVs), including minimizing the costs of charging and grid integration infrastructure for MD/HD EVs; improve the quality of life in disadvantaged and other impacted communities; reduce emissions; and demonstrate clear potential for replication and scale.

Project Topic Areas:

All three prizes will be implemented in two phases to provide potential Proposers with the time and resources necessary to develop the best approaches to meet the objectives of each prize competition. Phase One: The purpose of Phase One is to invite a wide range of Proposers to register and submit a detailed Proposal for each relevant prize. Since these three prize competitions will launch simultaneously, Proposers will have the opportunity to propose to more than one competition, and those Proposers may be asked to indicate how any efficiencies can be gained if they are awarded more than one grand prize Award to implement their proposed solution(s). The outcome of Phase One is to produce a cohort of planning grant Awardees, who will receive planning grants and other support in order to participate in Phase Two and prepare their final Proposals for grand prize consideration. Phase Two: Planning grant Awardees selected in Phase One will undergo a rigorous period of planning support in order to refine and strengthen their Proposals and conduct additional engagement for Phase Two. Based on feedback provided from the Phase One assessments, planning grant Awardees will understand gaps in their Proposals. NYSERDA will provide access to experts to help them refine their Proposals over a protracted period of the Phase Two timeline. Based on the revised Proposals, the scoring committee will assess and make recommendations to determine the grand prize Awardees for each prize competition.


Phase Two Planning Period (February – May 2022) – Phase One Awardees will receive a planning grant of $100,000, up to $50,000 of in-kind support, and up to $50,000 in funding for their community partners to strengthen their solutions. Phase Two Award Selection (Summer 2022) – Up to three Phase Two Awardees will each receive an award of up to $8 million to implement their proposed solutions in New York State’s disadvantaged communities.

Proposal PhaseTotal Funding AvailableAnticipated Number of Awards
Phase One: Planning GrantsUp to $500,000Up to five (5) at $100,000 each
Phase Two: Grand Prizes (Note: this Phase is only open to Phase One Awardees)Up to $24 millionUp to three (3) at $8 million each

Project Requirements:

At a minimum, all proposals should: 1) Reduce air pollution and emissions in the areas in which MD/HD vehicles operate; 2) Identify and demonstrate ways to reduce the cost and operational challenges of further deployment of MD/HD electric vehicles; 3) Provide replicable strategies for electric MD/HD fleet charging with minimum required grid upgrades; 4) Improve quality of life in disadvantaged and other impacted communities; and 5) Demonstrate a clear potential to be repeated in other fleets and communities and have the potential to scale in the chosen fleet and communities. To receive the highest scores for this challenge, Proposals must focus efforts and demonstrate emissions reductions in disadvantaged communities. Proposals may address paths toward the development of regulations to further accelerate electric MD/HD adoption. Note, proposals may also support initiatives to reduce MD/HD trips through smart routing, electric light-duty alternatives, and other means. Proposals may NOT include any of the following elements: A sole focus on vehicle or fleet replacement; Projects that involve pre-commercial technologies; Projects that do not operationalize or implement technologies that can be replicated at scale; or Projects that have significant technology risk.

The Electric Truck & Bus Challenge is open to Proposals located in any community within New York State. To receive the highest scores, Proposals must focus efforts and reduce emissions in at least one disadvantaged community per the interim definition below: 1) Communities that meet both of the following criteria: Census block groups that are in the top quartile of HUD census tracks meeting the annual income threshold of 50% Area Median Income, and Location identified as a Potential Environmental Justice Areas, as defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or 2) Communities located within New York State Opportunity Zones. *HUD 50% Threshold: Top quartile of census block groups in New York, ranked by the percentage of LMI Households in each census block. LMI Households are defined as households with annual incomes at or below 50% of the AMI of the County or Metro area where the Census Block Group resides.

An organization can submit only one Phase One Proposal for the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge as the Principal Organization. An organization can also serve as a partner on a team for multiple Proposals provided that each Proposal proposes a separate, distinct solution. Regional or location-specific branches of larger organizations can each register and submit separately as the Principal Organization on one Proposal as long as the proposed solutions are different and separate. While a single organization can serve as a Principal Organization on one Proposal, as well as participate as part of a team on multiple Proposals, there should be no overlap in the individuals from that organization on those separate Proposals. The intent of the policy is to ensure that any team member is concentrating their best effort into a single Proposal. Overlapping membership of advisory boards is permitted.

Eligible Applicants:

Only projects located within communities served by electric utilities regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission are eligible to receive the funding currently available through this PON (4745). These utilities are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric. Subject to the availability of funds, up to one project located within a community (or communities) served by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) may be selected for an additional Phase One award through this PON (4745). Up to one additional project located within a community (or communities) served by LIPA may be selected for a Phase Two award out of the Phase One awardees from all three challenges in the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program (PON 4743, PON 4744, PON 4745). Projects located in other electric utility service territories are eligible to participate in the submission and evaluation process, and must identify a separate funding for grant awards. Up to one additional Phase One project may be selected from the other electric utility service territories to be provided with access to expert consultants and other support services to prepare a Phase Two proposal. This additional project is not eligible to receive the planning grant, grand prize, nor funding for community partners from NYSERDA.

Each Proposal to the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge must be led by a Principal Organization, which is an entity responsible for entering into an agreement with NYSERDA for the purposes of receiving a planning grant or grand prize Award. Any non-profit, business or company, or other type of incorporated entity that is in good standing in the relevant jurisdiction(s) where they are incorporated and maintained may apply as a Principal Organization or be a member on a proposing team, with the exceptions provided below. The following entities are not eligible to apply as the Principal Organization, but may be part of a proposing team: Individuals; Government agencies, including United Nations agencies, inter-governmental bodies, and regional cooperation agencies. Please note: Indian Nations are eligible to apply as a Principal Organization and serve as part of a proposing team; Departments, authorities, or other entities that are part of local, state, or federal government; Universities and colleges. The following entities are not eligible to be a Principal Organization nor members of any proposing team: Registered lobbying organizations whose primary business is lobbying; Utilities and associated enterprises, within their respective service territories.