Governor Kathy Hochul announced the availability of $100 million in funding for zero-emission school buses under the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.
This initiative, part of the New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP), aims to make clean buses and charging infrastructure more accessible and affordable for public school districts and their contracted bus operators. The move aligns with New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which targets a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050, and mandates that all school buses in the state be zero-emission by 2035.
Administered by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the NYSBIP offers incentives for the purchase of zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEV) or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). The funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, covering up to 100 percent of the incremental cost of new or repowered zero-emission school buses. The program prioritizes high-need school districts and disadvantaged communities, offering larger voucher amounts. Additional incentives are available for fleets replacing internal combustion engine buses, purchasing wheelchair-accessible buses, or those with vehicle-to-grid capabilities.
The program also includes rebates for eligible operators who purchase and install charging infrastructure for the new buses. School bus fleet owners can receive up to $25,000 per bus for standard charging infrastructure, with increased amounts for those serving priority districts or having completed electrification plans. This initiative reflects New York State’s commitment to ensuring at least 40 percent of the benefits from the Environmental Bond Act reach disadvantaged communities. The NYSBIP guidelines, shaped by public comment and engagement, are a crucial part of New York State’s broader effort to provide resources for transitioning school bus fleets to zero-emission vehicles, including technical assistance and comprehensive guidebooks for fleet electrification.
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