The long awaited SB 193 air quality bill has recently been signed by the Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis. The bill, which tackles numerous climate correction incentives, also creates a $65 million grant program for electric school buses within the state.
The United States of America is one of the biggest stock holders of school buses in the world. The Biden Administration, through the introduction of policies such as Electrify America, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, have duly recognized the contribution of school bus fleets towards the environment, as well as highlighted the detriments GHG emissions are having on community health and wellbeing.
A number of states within the U.S. have committed to buying electric school buses as part of their green transportation initiatives in order to fulfill carbon neutrality targets in line with ratifications of the Paris Climate Agreement and COP26. Boston has recently announced goals for a 100% electric school bus stock by 2030, New York by 2035, and Nevada 2050. Colorado hasn’t pledged a timeline for full electrification of school buses yet, but this grant should kickstart many districts to start making progress.
Replacing diesel buses can also have high upfront costs for school districts, particularly if their diesel fleet hasn’t yet reached end of life. This grant fund doesn’t just target purchases of new electric school buses, but also conversion of old diesel buses to electric if possible, and retiring of diesel buses early when feasible.
Colorado’s funding plan should help school districts have another avenue for funding apart from the Biden Administration’s $5 billion Clean School Bus Program.
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