EPA awards $900 million for clean school buses nationwide

May 30, 2024

Approximately 3,400 clean-energy buses will be distributed to 530 school districts across the nation through an Environmental Protection Agency program designed to clean the air by getting older, diesel-fueled buses off the roads.

The 2023 Clean School Bus Program will distribute a total of $900 million to the districts, which will use the funds to purchase the new buses, 92% of which will be fully electric, the EPA said.

Goals for the investment include driving demand for American-made batteries and boosting domestic manufacturing, the EPA said.

The availability of at least $500 million for 2023 Clean School Bus rebates was announced in September. The rebate application period closed in February 2024 with an overwhelming response from school districts across the country seeking to purchase electric and clean school buses, the EPA said.

Because of the level of demand — including from low-income communities, Tribal nations and U.S. territories — the EPA said it doubled the initial amount of available funding in this round to a total of nearly $1 billion.

The third round of funding will build on the previous investments of almost $2 billion via the Clean School Bus Program’s 2022 rebates and 2023 grants, the EPA said.

The selections announced Wednesday will provide funds to school districts in 47 states and Washington, D.C., along with several federally recognized tribes and U.S. territories.

School districts in low-income, rural and tribal communities make up approximately 45% of the selected projects and will receive approximately 67% of the total funding.

The EPA said it was continuing to review selected applications and could make additional awards through this and other programs, including the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant program.

The EPA is accepting applications through July 25. Up to $932 million will be awarded. Approximately 70% of the available funding will help pay for new zero-emission school buses, the EPA said.

Photo courtesy of the Electric School Bus Initiative

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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