Clean School Bus Rebates Awarded as CALSTART Launches Electric School Bus Network

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on October 26, 2022, announced the recipients of its first round of rebates for school districts that applied for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates. These rebates are intended to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission models to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier buses.

For this first round of rebates, the EPA received around 2,000 applications requesting nearly $4 billion for over 12,000 buses. The applicant pool included submissions from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and federally recognized Tribes. According to the White House, the new awards will support the purchase of 2,463 buses, and 95% of these buses will be electric. The first round of funding awards hundreds of school districts across the country; the full list of school districts receiving the rebates can be found here.

In Seattle, Washington, at a press conference to discuss the awards, Vice President Kamala Harris commented on the nearly $1 billion in rebate awards from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 to replace existing aging school bus fleets with clean buses. Harris noted, “these investments are going to go everywhere that our school buses go. It’s going to be in urban communities. It’s going to be in rural communities, Tribal communities. It will be in all 50 states.”

Synchronized with the announcement from the EPA, CALSTART launched its Electric School Bus (ESB) Network website as a critical resource for all those working to advance the electrification of school buses. The ESB Network was created in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) as a go-to resource for peer-to-peer networking and dialogue-driven working group meetings for school districts, advocacy organizations, government organizations and industry. In addition to the working groups, the ESB Network provides access to educational tools, resources, and subject matter experts to help support the electric school bus fleet transition.

“We designed these working groups to be a neutral space for school districts to get access to the tools, resources, and data they need to make educated and informed decisions as they transition their fleets. The EPA’s announcement has created a whole new group of school districts across the country that may not know where to start with their electrification journey. We are excited to bring them into the ESB Network, get them connected with other school districts and industry experts, and start driving school bus electrification forward, together.” Rachel Chard – National Program Manager, CALSTART Bus Initiative

If you’re a school district interested in school bus electrification, visit the website to join the ESB Network or jump right in and register for an upcoming working group meeting today!

Regional ESB Working Group Schedule – Open to school, school district, and government representatives only