New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced $100 million will be made available on a statewide basis for zero-emission school buses in the first round of funding available for these buses under the $4.2-billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.
By utilizing this funding, school districts and bus operators statewide will be able to phase out fossil fuel buses, curb emissions, and make zero-emission buses more affordable.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released the program rules, officially launching the pre-application process through which bus manufacturers and dealers can apply to qualify for the New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP). The program rules will guide the total Bond Act allotment of $500 million for zero-emission school buses and infrastructure.
The application process to receive funding will open on Wednesday, 29 November 2023. To provide more information about the NYSBIP goals, guidelines, process, and timelines, NYSERDA will host a webinar on 11 October 2023.
The NYSBIP is a New York State-wide point-of-sale incentive program that provides discounts to eligible school bus fleet operators that purchase zero-emission battery electric (BEV) or hydrogen fuel cell electric (FCEV) school buses and associated charging infrastructure. Incentives for school buses will be disbursed directly to dealers and manufacturers to offset some or all of the difference in purchase price between zero-emission school buses and comparable diesel or gas-powered buses. Charging infrastructure incentives will also be issued directly to the fleet owner (the school district or their contractor).
The Environmental Bond Act requires that disadvantaged communities shall receive no less than 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefit of total Bond Act funds. In line with this goal, NYSERDA will aim to ensure at least 40% of the NYSBIP benefits disadvantaged communities. Buses domiciled in or serving disadvantaged communities will receive consideration for higher incentive amounts.