Preliminary Awards Made for Zero-Emission
School Buses and Infrastructure Incentives; Funding Still Available

School districts secure initial awards in State-Backed initiative to support the purchase of
zero-emission school buses and associated infrastructure. Additional funding
is still available through mid-December.

Pasadena, CA: CALSTART, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Energy Commission (CEC) encourage eligible school districts to turn in submissions for its California Clean Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) Public School Bus Set-Aside and Energy Infrastructure Incentives for Zero-Emission (EnergIIZE) Commercial Vehicles Project’s Joint Application before its Dec. 15 deadline. The program is moving applicants that have been preliminarily selected for funding through the next phase of the process.

The funding represents a collaboration between CARB and the CEC to replace older, fossil fuel-powered buses with zero-emission options. Award recipients will receive up to $395,000 to support the purchase of a zero-emission school bus, and up to $275,000 to purchase and install associated charging equipment. Limited funding is still available, so school districts, and other eligible applicants, are encouraged to apply before the HVIP Public School Bus Set-Aside and EnergIIZE Joint Application closes on December 15, 2023, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

The HVIP Public School Bus Set-Aside and EnergIIZE Joint Application opportunity will not only help ease the transition to zero-emission school buses with supporting infrastructure for applicants but will improve air quality and health for school-aged children around the state.

“Electric school buses and charging infrastructure must go hand in hand, and EnergIIZE is helping schools get both through one application. The Energy Commission is proud to partner with the California Air Resources Board to provide school districts with financial and technical assistance to electrify buses and build chargers,” said CEC Commissioner Patty Monahan.

This zero-emission school bus and infrastructure program represents just one of California’s many efforts to replace the aging California school bus fleets with modern clean transportation vehicles and implement air pollution laws that protect school-children’s health. In the recent 2023 SB 1403 School Bus Incentive Report, California outlines milestones achieved through the state’s school bus incentives programs, including:

  • $1.5 billion for zero-emission school bus replacement and infrastructure grants expected to be released over the next three years.
  • Over 230 California public school districts and charter schools ordered at least 1 zero-emission school bus.
  • Over 600 zero-emission school buses currently operating in California.

“As we look toward carbon neutrality by 2045, zero-emissions school buses will play an important role in building healthy communities for our kids and for all Californians,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “Our zero-emissions school bus program is an example of the collaboration between state agencies that is making a clean air future a reality with funding for both new vehicles and supporting infrastructure.”

California’s efforts have made the state a leader in zero-emission school bus deployments. According to CALSTART’s 2023 Zeroing in on Electric School Buses report, over 3,000 electric school buses have been awarded, ordered, delivered, or deployed in the United States since late 2022. Of those, California leads the way with the most zero-emission electric school buses, making up 56 percent of the total market share.

“CALSTART is proud to partner with CARB and CEC to ensure that school districts in California receive the support they need to invest in zero-emission school bus adoption with backing charging equipment,” said Ben Mandel, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at CALSTART. “Bringing the HVIP and EnergIIZE projects together further knocks down barriers to cleaner and healthier air for California’s children.”

A nonprofit organization with offices across the United States, in Europe, and with partners worldwide, CALSTART works with more than 300 member companies to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry. We overcome barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.

About California Air Resources Board (CARB)
CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

California Energy Commission (CEC)
The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future for all. As the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, the Energy Commission is committed to reducing energy costs and environmental impacts of energy use while ensuring a safe, resilient, and reliable supply of energy.