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California has spent more than $1.2B on cleaning up school buses; additional $1.8B slated over next 5 years

A report published by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), in consultation with the California Energy Commission (CEC), shows California investments to clean up old, polluting school buses have already exceeded $1.2 billion. The Legislature has appropriated an additional $1.8 billion over the next five years for zero-emission school buses and associated charging infrastructure.

The 2022 SB 1403 School Bus Incentive Program Report shows that the total $1.2 billion statewide investment made over the past nearly 20 years, including $255 million invested in school bus cleanup over the past year alone, has supported about 1,800 zero-emission school buses. More than 560 of those buses are already on California roadways and 327 are in the state’s most pollution-burdened communities.

California leads the US with its strong support for zero-emission school buses. By comparison, 888 zero-emission school buses have been awarded, ordered, or deployed across the US outside of California, as of 2021, according to a CALSTART report.

Electric school buses now make up 2% of California’s fleet of 23,800 school buses. More than half of the state’s school bus fleet is diesel-powered, and a handful of the state’s buses even pre-date engine emission controls altogether.

Cleaning up the school bus fleet is a collective local, state and federal effort since there is no single dedicated source of funding for school bus replacement. A variety of CARB incentive programs over the past 20 years have focused on cleaning up school buses, including several recent funding allocations to replace aging school buses with new zero-emission models.

In addition to state funding, late last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced it would nearly double the funding awarded through its Clean School Bus Program this year to $965 million following increased demand, with school districts from all 50 states applying for 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates.

More than 500 state-funded school buses include vehicle-to-grid technology capable of using the batteries on board the buses to recharge during downtime when clean energy is abundant on the grid and return energy to the grid in the afternoon and evening.

To help visualize the information in the SB 1403 progress report, CARB and CEC host online tools—the CARB-Funded Zero Emission School Bus Dashboard and the CEC School Bus Delivery Tracker—that track and map the growing number of state-funded ultra-clean school buses on California roads.



More than half of the state’s school bus fleet is diesel-powered, and a handful of the state’s buses even pre-date engine emission controls altogether.
The thing is to replace the worst buses with more or less anything, including better diesel or LPG buses.

It depends on what you are trying to do - reduce CO2 or reduce legacy emissions (NOX, CO, particulates etc.)

Also, how many hours / day is a school bus used?
If it is only used for school runs, then you might be better off replacing buses that are used all day long.


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently spent more than $1.2 billion to clean up the state's school buses. The money is a result of the recent school bus rule changes, and will be used for cleaning up diesel particulate matter and other pollutants. I will read now. This is part of a larger effort to help decrease the health risks that children face on buses, which includes the $1.8 billion in funding that has been approved by CARB and will be used over the next four years.

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