ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants more municipalities to use electric vehicles. The issue, in any community or context, is the cost associated with converting to zero-emissions transportation.

September marks a window for communities to apply for a financial boost to plug in.

Funding has been made available to help towns and cities purchase or lease vehicles that create zero emissions. Until Friday, Sept. 30, communities can apply for ZEV Rebate and Infrastructure Grant programs, out of a fund totaling $5.75 million for the current grant round. Communities can apply online.

There are differences between the two types of grants. Communities looking to use electric vehicles for public use should get acquainted with what type of grant is right for them before they apply.

ZEV Rebates

The program is offering funds from a total bank of $750,000. That money is available for any municipality eyeing the purchase of an all-electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle intended for municipal use. Vehicles must be either purchased or leased for a 36-month minimum, from a dealership within New York State.

Rebate amounts vary based on car weight. Vehicles categorized with a gross vehicle weight rating up to 8,000 pounds are qualified for rebates on a tiered basis, ranging based on electric mile range. For vehicles between 8,001 and 14,000 pounds (usually indicating vans, large trucks and minibusses), rebates of up to $7,500 are available regardless of mileage.

Request for Applications

ZEV Infrastructure Grants

A total of $5 million has been set aside for communities that are interested in installing hydrogen filling station components or electric vehicle charging equipment of a certain caliber. Qualifying equipment must rank at Level 2 by qualifying standards or direct current fast charge. Stations must be mainly for public use in order to be applicable.

Money can be used for the purchase of equipment, supplies, materials, installation costs, electricity, and site preparation costs. Grant matching varies based on the median household income of the applicant community, as well as whether the ZEV proposal is located within a disadvantaged community.

Disadvantaged communities are a subject of emphasis for the program. 40% t of all funds involved in the round of grants will be earmarked for disadvantaged communities. Those communities are being identified by draft criteria from the Climate Justice Working Group.