California Charging Ahead With Zero-Emission School Buses

New report shows 1,800 zero-emission school buses supported by state investment

SACRAMENTO – Thousands of California kids are now riding to school in zero-emission school buses. According to a new report published today by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), 1,800 zero-emission buses are operating or on order in California — more than double the number of clean school buses in the rest of the U.S.

“California is doing away with the old, diesel-burning school buses of the past because our kids deserve to breathe clean air. We’re investing billions of dollars to clean up California’s school buses in one of the most impactful transformations on our roads in generations. This is real climate action that is happening right now in California and we couldn’t be prouder of our progress,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

There are more than 560 clean school buses currently operating on California roads — 327 of which are in the state’s most pollution-burdened communities — with more than 1,200 on order, bringing the state’s total to 1,800 buses. California leads the nation with its strong support for zero-emission school buses. By comparison, 888 zero-emission school buses have been awarded, ordered, or deployed across the U.S. outside of California, as of 2021, according to a CALSTART report.

To date, the state has invested more than $1.2 billion to clean up old, diesel-burning school buses with an additional $1.8 billion going out over the next five years for zero-emission school buses and associated charging infrastructure.

The funding is part of the California Climate Commitment, a record $54 billion investment in climate action, which includes $10 billion for accelerating California’s transition to zero-emission vehicles with significant consumer rebates and funding for charging infrastructure.

In addition to state funding, late last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would nearly double the funding awarded through its Clean School Bus Program this year to $965 million following increased demand, with school districts from all 50 states applying for 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates.