$ 5 billion for electric school buses in U.S. infrastructure investment and jobs act

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, aka Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides $ 5 billion for electric vehicle charging, but – much less discussed – it also includes $ 5 billion for cleaner school buses, especially school buses. electric! It is transformative.

Many Tesla fans are very upset right now by a feud between Elon Musk and some Democratic politicians and political figures. It’s a strange spat that has developed tweet after tweet for years, especially considering both are on the side of increasing the number of EVs on the road as Republicans at Congress (and the White House) are doing all they can to protect the fossil fuel industries. The good news is that Democrats passed a law this year that funds much more infrastructure for charging electric vehicles and also funds the large-scale adoption of electric school buses. The Republican Party, if it controlled Congress, would never create such a bill or pass it. In fact, while they controlled Congress and the White House, they did not even pass a basic infrastructure bill.

Much more was expected from the Build Back Better bill, but it now appears to be dead in the water. I recently looked through the content of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, and one thing jumped out at me: $ 5 billion for electric school buses.

Image courtesy of Blue Bird

There are many good reasons to support electric vehicles, and electric buses and school buses really maximize these benefits. Exposing our youngest to the extreme pollution of large diesel buses creates developmental problems, serious health problems (including generalized asthma and sometimes cancer) and global warming that condemns these same people to one of the futures. most difficult generations in human history.

Support for electric school buses and “low emission buses”

Thomas Built Buses Inc’s Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley electric school bus is powered by Proterra electric vehicle technology.

Before we go any further, here is a brief summary of this part of the bill, courtesy of Grist:

“The bill also contains $ 5 billion to start a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers, and an additional $ 2.5 billion that can be spent on any type of ‘alternative fueling infrastructure’, including gas. natural, hydrogen and propane. The bill also allocates $ 5 billion to replace old polluting school buses with low-carbon options, with half of the money going to electric school buses.

While electric car chargers and electric car subsidies gained attention in the discussions of these two pieces of legislation, funding for electric buses was as important as funding for recharging electric vehicles in the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Well there is a caveat, as half the funding could be used for ‘low emission buses’ – but that also means it could be used for fully electric buses, just like the 2.5. billion dollars remaining. Hope the money is put to good use.

Here’s how the EPA sums up its funding administration:

“After the passage of the history Bipartite Infrastructure Law (pdf) (1039 pages, 2.31 MB, November 2021), the EPA will make significant investments in the health, equity and resilience of American communities. The EPA will provide a total of $ 5 billion between fiscal years 2022 and 2026 to fund the replacement of existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses. Each year, $ 500 million will be available exclusively for electric school buses and $ 500 million will be available for electric buses and several types of cleaner alternative fuel school buses.

“The EPA may offer grants and rebates to help fleets purchase new, cleaner school buses and the associated charging and refueling infrastructure. The EPA will ensure a wide geographic distribution of the awards.

Electric school bus drivers

Image courtesy of Lion Electric

We have been covering electric school bus pilot programs for years (since at least March 2014). More recently, larger orders have been placed thanks to improved range, technology, price and proof on the road. For more information, here’s a recap of the electric school bus stories we’ve published over the past year:

  1. Canadian School Transportation orders 1,000 electric school buses from Lion Electric
  2. New York City to Switch to All-Electric School Buses by 2035
  3. The Benefits of Electric School Buses, V2G for Low Income Communities
  4. BYD aims to “revolutionize” the electric school bus
  5. How a Southern California school district is leading the e-bus revolution
  6. Largest order for electric school buses in North America placed by first student
  7. 260 LionC Electric School Bus Control
  8. How fast will electric school buses change? An interview with Blue Bird
  9. Blue Bird delivers its 400th electric school bus
  10. Largest Electric School Bus Order in U.S. History – Montgomery County Orders 326 Buses (Just Getting Started)
  11. Miami-Dade begins transition to a fleet of electric school buses
  12. New York Governor Cuomo Launches New Electric Bus Initiatives
  13. Blue Bird sells its 300th electric school bus and its first in Texas

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