WASHINGTON (APRIL 24, 2023)— Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the second round of funding through the Clean School Bus Program, building on the nationwide outpouring of school district interest seen in the program’s first round. This second round of funding offers approximately $400 million available through a competitive grant process, with an application deadline of August 22, 2023.
The Clean School Bus Program (CSBP), created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, represents a historic investment of $5 billion in funding over five years to help school districts replace existing school buses with electric or alternative fuel buses, delivering cleaner air for children and communities across the U.S.
The first CSBP funding round awarded $965 million in rebates via a lottery to school districts who requested to be part of the program in every state in the nation, as well as territories and Tribal schools. In response to the overwhelming demand from local school districts, some 95% of that funding supported electric school buses, which have no tailpipe emissions, produce lower greenhouse gas impacts and offer kids a healthier ride to school.
With today’s announcement, EPA has launched the second round of funding. This funding round will continue to prioritize high-need local educational agencies, rural school districts, Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded school districts, and school districts that receive basic support payments for children who reside on Indian land. The grant application deadline is August 22, 2023, with an anticipated notification of selection November 2023 to January 2024 and awards anticipated to occur February to March 2024.
This grant round is comprised of two sub-programs: one for school district and Tribal applicants, and one for third-party applicants such as manufacturers, dealers, school bus service providers and private fleets operators. The grants will allow for a minimum of 15 buses and up to 50 buses for each school district applicant, and for a minimum of 50 and up to 100 school buses for third-party applicants serving at least four school districts. The EPA anticipates 25 to 50 awards, split among the EPA regions.
“The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is providing a crucial boost to the nationwide movement to provide our children with a clean, healthy ride to school – especially in underserved communities that need it most,” said SUE GANDER, DIRECTOR, ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUS INITIATIVE, WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE. “The overwhelming preference for electric school buses seen in the first round of applications serves as further evidence that the electric school bus moment is here. We’re looking forward to seeing the second round of Clean School Bus Program funding complement last year’s rebate program, investing to electrify school bus fleets that will continue to pay off for districts, through lower maintenance and fuel costs over time, and protect the health of children, drivers, communities and the planet.”
About World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Electric School Bus (ESB) Initiative
World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. In partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund, WRI established the Electric School Bus Initiative in late 2020 with the goal of building unstoppable momentum toward electrifying the full U.S. school bus fleet by 2030. This project builds upon and leverages WRI’s experience partnering with cities around the world to advance sustainable transportation systems, including extensive engagements focused on transit electrification and working to advance clean power options.