WASHINGTON (SEPTEMBER 28, 2023) — Today, while we celebrate EPA’s Clean School Bus Program announcement about a third round of federal funding, New York State ushers in $100 million in funding for schools to transition to zero-emission school buses. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released the New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP) rules, officially launching the pre-application process through which bus manufacturers and dealers can apply to qualify for the program that will help New York school districts continue efforts to electrify their school bus fleets. The agency released program guidance including program documents available for review and preparation prior to applications being accepted.
With $100 million available in a point-of-sale incentive program, the NYSBIP gives eligible applicants the opportunity to bring the benefits of zero-tailpipe-emissions electric school buses to their communities with New York state providing a significant cost share. Notably, the program also provides cost share for repowered buses. These electric conversions provide a potential solution that will allow school districts to transition their existing fleet to electric without having to purchase an entirely new vehicle. The applications portal opens November 30, 2023. The program will provide bonus funding to applications from priority districts, SED-designated high-need/resource capacity districts, and districts that serve disadvantaged communities (DACs), and for school buses that are stored in an existing depot that is situated in a DAC.
This funding is the first installment of the $500 million created for the NYSBIP through the historic $4.3 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. The program is designed to help school districts and other fleet operators replace existing diesel-burning school buses with zero emission buses, delivering cleaner air for children and communities in New York. In this round of funding, applicants may also receive additional funds to make the bus accessible to students with disabilities.
New York school districts have demonstrated a clear demand for clean electric buses. During EPA’s 2022 Clean School Bus Program rebate round, school districts were awarded 154 buses, leaving a waitlist of 790 buses. Now, thanks to this state funding, those schools will have a chance to secure more of the electric buses they need.
Following is a statement from Sue Gander, Director, World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus Initiative:
“Momentum for electric school buses is accelerating at all levels. Today New York announced $100 million in funding for zero emission school buses on the same day that the U.S. EPA launched its $500 million 2023 Clean School Bus rebates. New York continues to be a leader in this space by offering increased funding for buses serving disadvantaged communities and for buses accessible to students with disabilities. These groups are more likely to ride the school bus or live near bus depots and bear the brunt of vehicle pollution. In recent years, states and the federal government have announced $9 billion in funds to get dirty diesel buses off the roads, and we see districts across the country switching to electric buses.”