The $5 Billion Electric Clean School Bus Initiative Has Been Launched By The Biden Administration

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Electric school buses (ESBs) received their first tranche of financing from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) today. Schools will be able to apply for $500 million in grants to help them buy vehicles and build infrastructure.

According to CALSTART’s January 2022 study, Zeroing in on ESBs, the United States has 1,738 ESBs awarded, ordered, delivered, and installed as of September 2021. However, every day in the United States, about 500,000 school buses carry 26 million children. Many school buses still operate on diesel, which emits small carbon particles and hazardous chemicals including benzene, which has been linked to cancer.

This is what Jessica Olson, CALSTART’s vice president of policy, had to say:
“The Biden Administration took an important step toward replacing old diesel school buses with low- and zero-emission school buses to benefit communities and school children who are currently burdened by unhealthy levels of air pollution caused by diesel-powered buses. This investment also supports American jobs and the growth of the electric vehicle supply chain and manufacturing capacity here in the United States. The next step is for school districts to get their planning and technical assistance lined up to make their transition effective and efficient. CALSTART research notes that school districts will save money, save time, and experience a smoother transition to the new technology if they plan ahead, reach out to ESB manufacturers, work with their local utilities on charging infrastructure, and give their bus drivers and mechanics time to adapt. We promote this planning process through CALSTART’s ongoing Electric School Bus Working Group, open to all U.S. school districts. School buses are well suited for zero-emission technology. U.S.-based manufacturing operations by companies such as Blue Bird, BYD, GreenPower Motor Company, IC Bus/Navistar, Lightning eMotors, Lion Electric, Motiv Power Systems, Phoenix Motor Cars and Thomas Built are ready to build these buses. The Administration is making a strong investment in clean-tech manufacturing jobs in Joliet, Illinois; High Point, North Carolina; Loveland, Colorado; Hayward, California; and other locations.”