Department of Ecology News Release - July 26, 2023

Ecology funds more zero-emission public vehicles in communities across Washington

$16.3M for switching out vehicles and diesel equipment will help air quality and the climate

Funding is available to replace diesel street sweepers, refuse vehicles, port cargo-handling, and more with zero-emission vehicles and equipment.


Local governments, Tribes and ports are among the groups eligible to apply for new grants for replacing diesel street sweepers, refuse vehicles, freight switcher locomotives, cargo-handling equipment, and forklifts with zero-emissions models.

The Washington Department of Ecology is offering the grants – totaling $16.3 million – from the Volkswagen Settlement funds we manage. Applications are open from today through Oct. 26, 2023. In addition to funding zero-emission technology in medium- and heavy-duty public fleets, the grants can be used for related charging and fueling infrastructure.

“We’re delighted to offer these grants and encourage applicants to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Molly Spiller, who manages Ecology’s Volkswagen Settlement grant program. “Cities, counties, public utilities, school districts, universities – really, any public or Tribal entity in Washington that owns eligible diesel equipment or vehicles – can use these funds to support their local communities and help accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future.”

To maximize emission reductions, applicants with older and higher-consumption diesel equipment and vehicles will be prioritized. Priority will also be given to applications that demonstrate funding would reduce emissions in communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution. 

“These are vehicles that operate in and around our homes and communities,” said Joel Creswell, Ecology’s Climate Policy section manager. “The zero-emission alternatives funded by these grants will reduce air pollution and noise, which makes neighborhoods healthier and more enjoyable, at the same time reducing the emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.”

Ecology is investing more than $140 million in federal settlement and state penalty funds received from Volkswagen. The grants are used to fund clean transportation projects that reduce harmful emissions, improve air quality, and enhance human health.

Ecology anticipates opening new grants for Level 2 charging stations for passenger vehicles in Fall 2023, followed by grants for DC fast-charging stations for passenger vehicles. 

  • Grant guidelines and application details available on this webpage:
  • To be notified when these and other funding opportunities open, sign up for VW program notifications at
  • See a map of zero-emission transportation grants allocated in Washington.

Contact information

Susan Woodward