Coming Soon: More Electric School Buses

SACRAMENTO – California is offering $150 million to help California public school districts and charter schools put more electric and zero-emission school buses on the roads.

A collaboration between the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the state is accepting applications through Sept. 29, 2023, and award recipients can receive up to $495,000 to replace older, polluting fossil fuel-powered buses with zero emission options, as well as charging equipment.

This is the second year of the program, which is part of California’s efforts to replace aging buses with zero-emission technology. Zero-emission school buses play a key role in California’s efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution by 2045 and help protect children who are particularly vulnerable to the health impacts from diesel exhaust. Last year, 81 school districts purchased more than 300 zero-emission buses with the state’s support.

What Governor Newsom said: “California schools have already replaced hundreds of old polluting school buses with new zero-emission models – protecting thousands of kids from harmful diesel pollution. We’re getting more kids on clean school buses while paving the way for the rest of the country to follow our lead.”

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 clean 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 multi-billion-dollar investment in climate action, which includes $10 billion for accelerating California’s transition to zero-emission vehicles with significant consumer incentives and funding for charging and other supporting infrastructure.