Governor Jared Polis of Colorado has signed SB 193 into law, providing $65 million for an electric school bus grant program. The state will award funding to school districts to help finance, purchase and maintain electric school buses, and to install charging infrastructure.
New federal funding for electric school buses is available from the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. By dedicating state funding for electric school buses, SB 193 will help maximize federal resources in Colorado.
There are nearly 500,000 school buses operating in the US today, and they’re prime candidates for electrification. Their lower operating and maintenance costs can save school districts money, and the ability to store energy in their batteries when they’re parked can improve the resilience of local grids and offer emergency power during outages.
In January, EV advocacy group The Electrification Coalition hosted a roundtable discussion on the opportunities for deployment of electric school buses in Colorado. The organization offers a software tool, the Dashboard for Rapid Vehicle Electrification (DRVE) to school districts to help them plan their transition to electric buses. The DRVE analyzes unique fleet data to identify total cost and emissions savings of various EV models.
“Once deployed, buses remain in operation for 12 years,” said Ben Prochazka, Executive Director of The Electrification Coalition. “Lawmakers must follow Colorado’s example and adopt policies now that will take diesel buses off the road and avoid locking in a decade’s worth of emissions and oil dependency. The Electrification Coalition is eager to work with communities around the country to aid in their adoption of electric buses. Our suite of technical resources and policy expertise can help identify funding opportunities, inform infrastructure planning, and generally ease the transition to cleaner vehicles.”
Source: The Electrification Coalition