Request for Applications: EV Market Stimulation in Divested Economies

Join us in our proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy to invest in electrification projects in historically under-funded areas.

**UPDATED to revise the available funding and the funding splits and to provide guidance for defining and describing underserved communities.**

This Request for Applications will select applicants to join MEC’s proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy under the Funding Opportunity Announcement titled Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (DE-FOA-0002475), Area of Interest 1.

The proposed project, Electric Vehicle Market Stimulation in Divested Economies, will leverage investments by industry and municipal agencies to put to work the emerging and mature plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle (PEV) technology within a broad and equitable market in Kansas and Missouri.

This RFA is limited to electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging installments, as well as related outreach programs, that will achieve significant reductions in pollution emitted from vehicles. We are primarily targeting organizations operating within environmental justice areas and other underserved areas to install public charging infrastructure, or to electrify their heavy vehicles, especially those operating at low speeds in or adjacent to residential neighborhoods. Emissions from heavy vehicles and off-road machinery contribute to asthma rates and family illness, keeping people away from jobs and school; early deaths; and other health and social impacts.

Volunteer cost sharing from some organizations will be leveraged to reduce the cost of participation for under-capitalized organizations.

Funding and Cost-Sharing Summary

We tentatively plan to program approximately $6 million in federal funds through cost shared projects. In order to meet our goals to provide direct funding and benefits to underserved communities, we anticipate programming funds with the following cost splits.

  • Approximately 4,250,000 in federal funds for cost-shared projects (at approx. 60 local / 40 federal)
    • i.e. $10,650,000 in total project costs breaks down to $6,390,000 local share (60% of total) and $4,260,000 federal share (40%)
  • Approximately 1,700,000 in federal funds for cost-shared projects (at approx. 15 local / 85 federal)
    • i.e. $2 million in total project costs breaks down to $300,000 local (15% of total) and $1,700,000 federal share (85%)
  • Applicant maximum federal request is increased to $850,000 (corrected RFA guidance document to come)
RFA Issue Date: 6/8/2021
Pre-Application Meeting: 6/16/2021 10:00am CST
RFA Questions Deadline: 6/21/2021
RFA Submission Deadline: 6/29/2021 2:00PM CST
Expected Date for MEC Selection Notification (indicates inclusion in MEC’s application to U.S. DOE): 7/6/2021
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations (dependent on MEC’s selection for award by U.S. Dept of Energy): November 2021

Request for Applications

UPDATED: DOE EV RFA Guidance 6.21.21 (click to download PDF)

Application Form (click to download PDF form)

Budget Workbook (click to download Excel Doc)

Letter of Commitment template (click to download Word Doc)

Staff Assistance

MEC transportation program staff is available to assist applicants. Contact David Albrecht for assistance if needed. David will not participate in project selection.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was conducted on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Those not able to attend live may access the recording, below.

To Watch Recorded Webinar

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/8302085062578537483

Additional Resources

Underserved and Environmental Justice: Definitions and Resources (click to download PDF)

EV models w cost comparisons (web version) (click to download Excel file)

Webinar: How to Apply to Funding Opportunities with MEC (general help with using our application forms)

U.S. Dept of Energy DE-FOA-0002475 (information about the underlying grant program we are applying to)

Electrify Heartland (statewide vehicle electrification programs for Kansas and Missouri)

MEC Projects (other projects we manage or participate in, including several related to EV)

Questions and Answers

  • Q1. On the max award/cap amount, can you clarify this is amount awarded, not total cost of the truck, please? If my truck costs $400k, 40% is $160,000 and an applicant could be potentially awarded funds for more than one truck.

    A1. That is correct. The maximum award amount corresponds with the federal share.

    Regarding cost sharing splits, see guidance at top of this web page. From the RFA Guidance document: “Our project budget must reach a minimum local match (i.e., cost share) of 50%, per federal regulation. We are prioritizing access to federal funds for organizations and entities operating in and around underserved communities and which cannot typically make large capital purchases. To meet this goal and achieve a blended cost share of 50%, we are requesting a minimum local cost share of 60%, with federal share for vehicles capped at the incremental cost over a comparable diesel or gasoline model. For those applicants who need additional support in order to participate, cost sharing is flexible and according to need. Please see the Application Form on the RFA Information web page for more information.

  • Q.2 Is leasing eligible? (Vendor name witheld) is a full service leasing company and they would apply for the program and lease to (name witheld).

    A.2. Yes, lease costs are eligible. For vehicle leases, the monthly commercial vehicle lease price should be used to determine project costs. The fleet operating the leased vehicle(s) would need to be identified in the application and provide a cost-sharing commitment letter.

  • Q.3. Does MEC have a definition or guidelines you use for ‘underserved’ you could share?

    A.3. Yes. Please see supplemental guidance document.

  • Q.4. I have just reviewed the RFA and noticed that you are targeting locations within “environmental justice areas and other underserved areas.” How does one determine whether our Kansas addresses fall within these parameters? Do you have a map or zip codes?

    A.4. Please refer to our supplemental guidance document on Underserved Communities.

  • Q.5. Is there any requirements for retirement, destroying, etc? Also, what’s the cost share split?

    A.5. No, this program does not require retirement or destruction of an old vehicle.

    Regarding cost sharing splits, see guidance at top of this web page. Applicants have the option to name a cost split that works for their capital budget. From the RFA Guidance document: “Our project budget must reach a minimum local match (i.e., cost share) of 50%, per federal regulation. We are prioritizing access to federal funds for organizations and entities operating in and around underserved communities and which cannot typically make large capital purchases. To meet this goal and achieve a blended cost share of 50%, we are requesting a minimum local cost share of 60%, with federal share for vehicles capped at the incremental cost over a comparable diesel or gasoline model. For those applicants who need additional support in order to participate, cost sharing is flexible and according to need. Please see the Application Form on the RFA Information web page for more information.

  • Q.6. How will cost-sharing determinations be made; who qualifies for paying less cost sharing?

    A.6. To the extent possible, cost-sharing determinations will be based on applicant requests via the Application Form as described in the Budget Workbook. The evaluation criteria identified on page 6 of the RFA Guidance document will determine which applicants will be selected in a competitive process.

    Applicants should use the supplemental guidance document on Underserved Communities to justify requests for more than 45% federal share.

  • Q.7. Would there be an opportunities here to create a pool of funds to add EV amenities to private development projects in (addresses witheld)? I don’t have capacity to apply for an individual grant myself right now, but would be interested in partnering with someone else that might be submitting a grant application for this program to see if I might be able to piggy back in some way to add these types of amenities to projects we are working on in disadvantaged neighborhoods. We have several public/private projects at the Development Agreement stage that would be good candidates to have this kind of infrastructure integrated (EV Charging Stations mostly).

    A.7. Yes! Neighborhood or community-based EVSE projects are of particular interest for underserved and disadvantaged communities. This is the type of project we plan to target for leveraging the pool of funds created from the overshare provided by 60% (and higher) cost-sharing sub-recipients. We anticipate that most of these types of neighborhood or community installations will be informed by community-led engagement after MEC is awarded (provided MEC is awarded by U.S. DOE), and selected through a community-informed application process. Applicants are also encouraged to submit these projects now for consideration.

  • Q.8. We have two questions regarding electric vehicles: 1. There are vehicles we are planning to purchase (Toyota RAV4 Plugin Hybrid, Chrysler Pacifica Plugin Hybrid, and Ford Etransit) that currently are not on the pricing spreadsheet that MEC included on the RFA’s webpage. Is it alright if we use current MSRP for the gasoline version and an estimated MSRP for the electric version for when we plan to purchase the EVs? 2. For these estimates, we have include a 10% increase based on inflation and potential accessories. Is this alright to include?

    A.8. Any commercially available electric vehicles may be used in your application and project. Yes, MSRP is acceptable in lieu of a quote.

    It is also acceptable to include a reasonable increase for inflation, accessory packages, etc., particularly if you are using MSRP as your pricing justification. If doing so, provide justification in a line item description in the Budget Worksheet.

  • Q.9. When are applications due?

    A.9. Applications are due by June 29th at 2:00pm CST. Please e-mail your Application to rfa@metroenergy.org subject: “Electric Vehicle Stimulation in Divested Economies ”.

  • Q.10. Can you give examples of outreach and engagement?

    A.10. For our fleet subrecipients, outreach often means public engagement activities with the communities where the deployment is taking place, as well as availability for press releases, peer networking and panel presentation to peers and industry in the region or nationally.

    MEC staff and partners will also engage with community organizations and perform direct outreach during the project period in order to facilitate community-led decision-making regarding locations for new public charging stations, interest in EV car-sharing, and similar desirable project outcomes.

  • Q.11. Between what dates can sub-awardees purchase electric vehicles and/or EV charging stations?

    A.11. The award to MEC, if we are selected, won’t be official until at least October of this year. The project term is being planned for 39 months, Oct 1, 2021, – December 31, 2024. The short answer is approximately October 2021 through December 2024.

    Upon award, MEC will negotiate and finalize subrecipient Agreements with selected organizations. The typical window for procurement and deployment would be between the effective date of Subrecipient’s agreement with MEC and the end of the project period, currently planned for December 2024. Procurements can often begin on the first date of the prime award (assumed to be Oct 1, 2021), or sometimes as early as the date of notification of award (assumed to be late August), PROVIDED THE SUBRECIPIENT HAS WRITTEN CONCURRENCE FROM MEC PRIOR TO BEGINNING PROCURMENT.

  • Q.12. Is it possible to get this presentation by email?

    A.12. Yes, we will be sending the presentation to the attendees on this webinar. It can also be downloaded from our RFA web page: metroenergy.org/resources/clean-transporation/funding-opportunities/rfa-ev-market

  • Q.13. Can you give a more defined meaning of reimbursement?

    A.13. We require sub-recipients to purchase services and/or equipment and to complete installation prior to submitting an invoice for us to review and reimburse from.

    MEC is a small nonprofit organization and does not have the cash flow to support immediate reimbursement to sub-recipients.

  • Q.14. Some of the inputs need may take weeks, or months to compile; we could miss the deadline. Does MEC plan to release other project applications?

    A.14. While MEC will offer similar opportunities when we can, these opportunities are supported by federal programming and federal funds, and the funding opportunities for vehicle technologies, alternative fuel and electrification do not have a consistent program design from year to year. This makes it hard to predict when another opportunity that will support installations will come along.

    Please do not give up on this opportunity. Reach out to David Albrecht, david (at) metroenergy (dot) org, for help with this project and to assist you with completing the application.

  • Q.15. Given that project installations may be 2 or 3 years out, what if the prices go up? Are we stuck if prices do go up?

    A.15. Our experience is that prices for new technology tend to go down, rather than up. As demand rises, typically supply increases and costs goes down, but that isn’t always the case during a project term. While it is impossible to answer this question with a guarantee, our goal is a healthy and robust community, and MEC will work with sub-recipients if they need to modify or cancel their project due to price fluctuations or other extreme and unanticipated events.

  • Q.16 If there is a delay in receiving an electric vehicle that has been purchased by the project end date? How does that work?

    A.16. First, procurements should be planned with enough lead time to deploy before the end of the project term. However, supply chain interruptions are notorious for these types of projects. Should a planned delivery be delayed beyond the project term, MEC is practiced at using the contractual option of No-Cost Time Extensions, wherein we are able to extend the project performance period without increasing the budget, in order to allow for delayed project deliveries, installations and sometimes other substantive outcomes. This option is only available with the prior knowledge and concurrence of the federal project team, and such delays should be communicated to MEC project staff as soon as they are known.

  • Q.17. Does MEC have additional resources on costs of EV’s?

    A.17. Yes, we will have compiled a list, and it is now on our RFA web page as an Additional Resource.

    Note that the information compiled is an incomplete list of commercially available electric vehicles, with pricing gleaned from our past projects, from publicly available price contracts, some direct vendor quotes and other sources. It is in no way a definitive list and should be used only as a reference resource, not as an eligibility list.

Sign up for RFA Information: EV Market Stimulation

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