Relying on the place you reside, you won’t see lots of electrical autos on the highway. Combustion engine vehicles nonetheless outnumber EVs by almost a hundred to one. However there isn’t any query that EVs are on the rise. California plans to ban the sale of recent combustion engine autos by 2035. Basic Motors lately introduced it’s going to only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2035. It’s solely a matter of time earlier than the American auto fleet goes utterly electrical. You would possibly stay in a neighborhood dotted with charging stations. Or the sight of a Tesla would possibly nonetheless elevate eyebrows the place you reside. But it surely’s a secure guess that your group’s faculty buses are nonetheless belching diesel fumes.
A single faculty bus emits greater than 54,000 pounds of greenhouse gases in a yr. Air high quality inside a diesel bus is 5 instances worse than the air outdoors, and kids who’re uncovered to the polluted air on diesel faculty buses obtain lower test scores. Electrifying your entire fleet of U.S. faculty buses would scale back greenhouse fuel emissions by roughly 8 megatons per year and cut back emissions from all U.S. buses by 35%. However till lately, electric school buses had been so costly (costing about double the value of a diesel bus), that faculty districts not often even thought of changing retired diesel buses with new electrical ones.
Federal Funding for Zero-Emission Buses
The bipartisan infrastructure funding bundle handed in January commits to a $5 billion funding for low and zero-emission faculty buses over the subsequent 5 years. Now, the first $500 million has been made obtainable for college districts and different eligible faculty bus operators and contractors to start changing the nation’s fleet of college buses with American-made, zero-emission buses. The EPA may also launch a grant competitors later this yr. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation will fund extra competitions yearly over the subsequent 5 years.
Assist Your College Get Electrical Buses
For this primary spherical of funding, EPA is at present accepting functions on-line by way of the Clean School Bus program. Along with public faculty districts, tribal organizations and/or BIA-funded colleges, some contractors, and nonprofit faculty transportation associations are eligible to use. Districts wishing to take part should register a SAM.gov account and submit their utility by August 19. The appliance course of differs from prior EPA faculty bus rebate packages. A collection of webinars are scheduled by way of the summer time. They are going to present extra details about this system and find out how to apply for funding. Recordings of previous occasions look like obtainable. However with the deadline quick approaching, colleges mustn’t wait to begin their functions.
For varsity directors preoccupied with issues of safety like mass shootings and COVID, cleaner transportation is probably not on the radar this summer time. However no faculty administrator desires to depart funding on the desk. And colleges have to switch their bus fleet on an everyday schedule; buses final from 12-15 years, with a present common age of 10 years. Attain out to your native faculty district workplaces and faculty board to ensure they know that this cash is out there now.
Questions on making use of could also be directed to CleanSchoolBus@epa.gov.