Electric School Bus Coalition Applauds Congressional Approval of Downpayment on Clean School Buses

November 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC., November 12, 2021 – Congressional passage of the bipartisan infrastructure plan boosts the importance of rebuilding and supporting the backbone of America in sustainable ways, and the Electric School Bus Coalition (ESBC) applauds this down payment on the country’s future. The legislation dedicates $5 billion to clean school buses, with $2.5 billion to replace polluting diesel school buses with zero emission school buses and an additional $2.5 billion for low or zero-emission school buses. Although this represents a good start on the electrification of school transit fleets, ESBC urges Congress and the Biden administration to move beyond this first step toward a bolder initiative and commit to an additional $22.5 billion dedicated directly to further diesel school bus replacement through reconciliation legislation.

In the U.S, nearly half a million school buses transport more than 25 million children – 55% of U.S. public school students – to and from school every day. The U.S. school bus fleet includes 2.5 times more vehicles than any other form of mass transit. But with pollution inside diesel buses averaging five to 10 times higher than in school children’s neighborhoods, diesel buses present unnecessary health risks – and electric buses carry 60% lower operating and maintenance costs, saving school districts nearly $2,000 per bus in fuel costs. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill can help us get the ball rolling on cleaner, more-economical transport for schools,” said ESBC Executive Director John Hipchen, “but we must not be complacent and view it as a complete solution to current problems.”

ESBC initiatives advance the health, economic and infrastructure value of putting zero-emission buses on the road to replace costly, aging diesel-powered vehicles. In the bigger picture, ESBC wants to promote cleaner air, reduce fossil-fuel usage, speed economic growth and global competitiveness, and advance the e-vehicle charging infrastructure. To do so, ESBC supports allocation of a total of $25 billion in Federal funds to implement electric school buses and their charging infrastructure over 10 years and across the entire U.S., with advanced depreciation and funding-support programs to bring electric buses – owned or leased – within reach for every community and school corporation.

About the Electric School Bus Coalition

The Electric School Bus Coalition (ESBC) brings together bus manufacturers and providers, electric utilities, NGOs and material providers to provide critical solutions geared toward zero emissions and to accelerate the expansion of electric school bus fleets for a cleaner, healthier economy and nation. The coalition supports a series of phased initiatives that coordinate agencies at the federal and state levels to make it easy and cost effective for school districts and municipalities to transition, with funding priority for low-income, rural and environmental-justice communities, and with equal treatment for all school districts. For more information, or to become a coalition member, visit ESBC at www.eschoolbus.org.