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EPA Clean School Bus Program Awards Nearly $1 Billion

Jan. 8, 2024

Electric school bus charging.

As part of its ongoing commitment to protecting children and improving air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 67 applicants to receive nearly $1 billion through EPA’s first Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition. The awards, which are made possible through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, will help selectees purchase over 2,700 clean school buses in 280 school districts serving over 7 million students across 37 states. By accelerating the transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles, these awards will improve air quality for children and their families and advance environmental justice, all while boosting the economy and creating good-paying jobs.

With today’s announcement, EPA’s Clean School Bus Program has awarded nearly $2 billion and funded approximately 5,000 electric and low-emission school buses nationwide.

“Every school day, 25 million children ride our nation’s largest form of mass transit: the school bus. The vast majority of those buses run on diesel, exposing students, teachers, and bus drivers to toxic air pollution,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “Today, we are announcing nearly $1 billion to fund clean school buses across the nation. As part of our work to tackle the climate crisis, the historic funding we are announcing today is an investment in our children, their health, and their education. It also strengthens our economy by investing in American manufacturing and America’s workforce.”

In April 2023, EPA announced the availability of at least $400 million for its 2023 Clean School Bus Grants through a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The grant application period closed in August 2023 with an outstanding response from applicants seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses. Given the overwhelming demand and large number of high-scoring applications, including applicants in low-income communities, EPA has nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded this round to approximately $965 million. These awards follow over $875 million obligated to new buses from the Clean School Bus Program’s 2022 Rebates, which funded the replacement of 2,366 buses at 372 school districts to further improve air quality in and around schools, advance environmental justice, reduce greenhouse gas pollution fueling the climate crisis, and accelerate America’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future.

Grantees will work with their EPA Regional Project Officers to finalize project plans and purchase their awarded new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) to provide grantees with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

Technical Assistance for School Districts to Help Deploy Clean School Buses

The Joint Office offers technical assistance to school districts on electric bus technologies, charging equipment, utility connections, bus performance, and operational considerations like routing and maintenance. Technical assistance offered through the Joint Office provides school districts with the knowledge, tools, and information needed to successfully plan for and deploy clean school buses.

Read the full news release and explore the technical assistance offered to school districts by the Joint Office.