California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation requiring all new school buses in the state to be electric — but not until 2035. The state estimates that transitioning to zero-emission school buses will cost around $5 billion.
California will be the fifth U.S. state to mandate electric school buses, behind Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, and New York. However, California already has the largest and longest-running programs for electric school buses in the country, setting mandates for reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.
The state is also a leader in the adoption of electric school buses, with more than 2,078 committed electric buses in the state. Approximately 34% of these buses have already been delivered or are in operation.
Funding for electric school buses in California comes from several sources, including:
- The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPAs) Clean School Bus Program — contributed 39% of all committed electric buses in the U.S.
- There’s $900 million from the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in its first round of funding
- California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Incentive Program (HVIP), which has funded 1,029 electric buses to date
The transition to electric school buses offers multiple benefits. It will save school districts money in the long run by reducing fuel costs and eliminating exposure to volatile diesel prices. Additionally, it will lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health, as diesel school buses contribute to pollution that can affect children’s brain development and respiratory health.
The transition to emission-free school buses will be better for the environment and for kids, contributing to a cleaner state. It will also they can save school districts costs, offering reduced maintenance and fuel expenses over time.
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Filed Under: E Busses and Trucks, Technology News