Inflation Reduction Act Boon for Commercial Vehicles, School Buses & Solar

Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, applauds the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 signed into law today by U.S. President Joe Biden. The Inflation Reduction Act authorizes a $369 billion investment in energy security and combating climate change – the largest investment of its kind in U.S. history. The legislative action is projected to reduce harmful carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.

The comprehensive Inflation Reduction Act promotes clean school buses, charging infrastructure, and high-tech manufacturing. Notable transportation investments that can help to expand the nation’s clean school bus fleet include:

  • $1 billion in grants for clean Class 6 and 7 heavy-duty vehicles
  • Up to $40,000 in tax credits for zero-emission commercial vehicles
  • Up to $100,000 in tax credits for heavy-duty charging infrastructure
  • $3 billion for direct loans to finance advanced vehicle technology manufacturing
  • $2 billion for grants to support electric and fuel cell vehicle manufacturing.

“The Inflation Reduction Act demonstrates America’s leadership in advancing clean transportation solutions to help fight climate change,” said Matthew Stevenson, president and CEO, Blue Bird Corporation. “As the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, Blue Bird welcomes all initiatives that foster a clean energy future and advance student and community health.”

The Inflation Reduction Act builds on the Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which provides a total of $5 billion over five years for clean school bus transportation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program is currently offering $500 million for the replacement of diesel-powered school buses with zero and low emission school buses. The funds will also assist school districts and other eligible participants to establish the required clean energy infrastructure. The application period ends on August 19, 2022. Blue Bird subject matter experts can assist members of its dealer network and school districts in applying for program funds. Interested parties can contact Blue Bird grant funding specialists via GrantSupport@blue-bird.com.

Blue Bird is the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer in the United States. The company builds a full range of electric school buses which can carry a maximum of 84 passengers for up to 120 miles on a single charge. Depending on the charging infrastructure, the buses take between three and eight hours to recharge fully.

In addition, Blue Bird offers a comprehensive portfolio of low emission propane and natural gas-powered school buses. The company remains the proven clean transportation leader with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric-powered buses in operation today. Blue Bird manufactures its school buses in Fort Valley, Ga. The shift to clean transportation helps sustain approx. 2,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs and will significantly reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. Blue Bird continues to increase production and fortify its supply chain to meet the increasing demand for zero and low emission school buses.

Good for Solar Too

Altus Power, Inc. (NYSE: AMPS) (“Altus Power” or the “Company”), the premier independent developer, owner and operator of commercial-scale solar facilities, today issued a statement in support of the Inflation Reduction Act, recently signed into law by President Biden. Altus expects to utilize many of the provisions included in the new law. In addition, Altus Power believes the law provides significant indirect benefits to its business by incentivizing investment in domestic solar generation and battery storage supply chains, providing the potential for U.S. manufacturing to compete with offshore production.

“Our industry can now further strengthen investments in new solar, battery storage and EV charging thanks to the direct and long-term support provided by the Inflation Reduction Act,” commented Lars Norell, Altus Power’ Co-Chief Executive Officer. “We welcome the Act’s focus on domestic clean energy manufacturing and look forward to increased opportunities to purchase components for our solar assets domestically.”

Gregg Felton, Altus Power’s Co-Chief Executive Officer added, “We believe this law will significantly enhance the economic advantage of our renewable energy solutions for our customers and thereby substantially expand our addressable market opportunity.”

Altus Power highlights the following provisions as most significant to its opportunity set:

  • Ten-year extension Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, increased from 26% up to 30% of project costs
  • New ten-year ITC for battery storage will accelerate adoption significantly
  • Additional 20% ITC available for community solar projects serving at least 50% low-to-moderate income customers
  • Additional 10% ITC available for projects built with at least 40% domestic content (rising to 55% starting in 2027)
  • Interconnection costs now included in ITC-eligible project basis

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