New York State opens applications for $100 million in funding for electric school buses

New York State is now taking applications for grant funding for electric school buses under the $4.2-billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. $100 million will be disbursed in this first tranche of a total $500 million authorized by the Bond Act.

New York’s 2022 State of the State initiative requires all new school buses sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2027, and all school buses on the road to be zero-emission by 2035.

The New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP), which is administered by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), provides incentives to eligible school bus fleet operators that purchase battery-electric or fuel cell vehicles.

This funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Incentive amounts start at $114,000, and cover up to 100 percent of the incremental cost of a new or repowered zero-emission school bus. Larger amounts are available for high-need school districts and disadvantaged communities. Additional incentives are available for fleets removing legacy ICE buses from operation, purchasing wheelchair-accessible buses, or purchasing buses with vehicle-to-grid capability.  

The program also provides rebates to fleet operators who install eligible charging infrastructure. School bus fleet owners (the school district or their contractor) are eligible to receive $25,000 per bus for charging infrastructure, or $35,000 if they serve a priority district. Fleet owners that have completed electrification plans are eligible to receive $55,000 per bus for charging infrastructure, or $65,000 if they serve a priority district.

Program eligibility and rules for charging infrastructure funding are available online through the NYSBIP Implementation Manual. NYSERDA will accept applications until funding is exhausted under the current round, and will accept applications under future rounds as it distributes an additional $400 million earmarked for zero-emission school buses.

Schools and contractors do not apply to the program directly. School bus dealers apply on their behalf, and payments are disbursed directly to dealers and manufacturers to offset some or all of the price premium over a legacy bus. Charging infrastructure incentives are issued directly to the fleet owner. To share more information about the process, NYSERDA will host a webinar on December 11, 2023.

New York State provides many resources to help school bus operators to transition their fleets to zero-emission buses, including the  New York State Electric School Bus Roadmap and the Electric School Bus Guidebook

“New York State is empowering school districts to embrace zero-emission school buses which will provide our leaders of tomorrow with healthy and clean transportation today,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “Ensuring electric school buses are at the forefront of student transport is a critical health investment and demonstrates the benefits of clean energy while reducing harmful emissions to improve air quality and protect our precious environment.” 

Source: New York State Governor’s Office

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