By Ria Roebuck Joseph, The Center Square
Published July 10, 2023
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) are collaborating to transition school districts from diesel dependent school buses to green energy alternatives.
The initiative is a partnership to use $150 million in the state budget to award funding to public school districts who apply to the program in an effort to transition to zero emissions bus technology.
The California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) funds vouchers for the purchase of zero emissions trucks and buses and has a Public School Bus Set-aside Program specifically to replace old school buses with new electric ones.
The CEC’s Energy Infrastructure Incentives for Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles Project (EnergIIZE) will fund charging stations for those buses.
This year’s successful awardees can receive $495,000 per bus---$395,000 for the vehicle and $100,000 for a charging station.
“California schools have already replaced hundreds of old polluting school buses with new zero-emission models, protecting thousands of kids from harmful diesel pollution,” Gov. Gavin Newsom pointed out.
In 2022, 81 school districts used the state-supported program to purchase more than 300 ZEV buses. California has ordered 1,200 buses to further increase the state’s zero-emission school buses from 560 to around 1,800.
So far California has spent $1.2 billion to replace diesel operated buses.
Newsom is pleased with the progress. “We’re getting more kids on clean school buses while paving the way for the rest of the country to follow our lead,” he said.
Over the next five years, the state expects to spend an additional $1.8 billion on green energy school buses and the infrastructure to support them.
The funding is part of the California Climate Commitment, with $10 billion in funding for ZEV transitions motivated by Newsom’s efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution by 2045.
Applications are on a first come, first served basis and are being accepted through Sept. 29. Incentives are applied at point-of-sale for the purchase of eligible vehicles at participating dealerships.