New York State Commits to 100% Electric School Buses by 2035 [Update]

In January, Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) said she would propose legislation to transition to 100 percent electric school buses by 2035. She also said she would propose legislation requiring all new purchases school buses to be zero emissions by 2027. This legislation is now on the verge of becoming law.

Update of April 8, 2022: Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) yesterday agreed to a $220 billion budget with lawmakers, and it includes a plan to make the state’s roughly 50,000 school buses 100% electric by 2035 .

The Senate bolstered Hochul’s proposal by asking the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to provide technical assistance to school districts as they navigate the transition to 100 buses. % electric. It also requires the state to identify obstacles to the goal of 100% by 2035 so that they can be resolved quickly.

Justin Balik, Senior Director, State Policy for Transportation Electrification at World Resources Institutementioned:

This plan makes New York the first state in the nation to commit to fully electrifying its school bus fleet and sets a clear benchmark for other states looking to protect children’s health.

New York State Electric School Bus Plan

January 6, 2022: In a document released by the governor called the State of the State Bookpage 161, “Achieving 100% Electric School Buses by 2035,” states:

There are approximately 50,000 school buses on the streets of New York State, polluting the communities in which they operate with harmful emissions. It is estimated that fully electrifying school buses in New York City alone would be equivalent to taking nearly 650,000 passenger vehicles off the road.

To improve air quality for children in New York State while working toward climate law goals, Governor Hochul will propose legislation requiring that, by 2027, all new school bus purchases are zero emissions, and by 2035, all school buses on the road will be zero emissions.

Importantly, this legislation will ensure that the state provides school assistance for the installation of electric bus infrastructure, including charging stations, and the purchase or rental of electric buses. Additionally, this legislation will allow school districts to contract buses for longer than the current five-year limit, which will expand the ability of school districts to achieve this goal.

In response to Hochul’s call for all electric school buses by 2035, Electrification Coalition Executive Director Ben Prochazka released the following statement via email:

The Coalition for Electrification applauds Governor Hochul for this bold but achievable commitment to wean New York’s school buses off oil. This commitment makes New York a clear leader in the important work of providing students with a clean route to school.

Electric school buses are here and ready to roll out, and it’s exciting to see New York seize the moment. This is a significant step towards realizing the national security, public health and economic benefits that electric vehicles provide.

Early October, New York City passed a bill requiring all of its 9,500 school buses to be fully electric by September 1, 2035.

Like Electrek reported in July, most Americans support the transition to electric school buses. And the American Lung Association’s National President and CEO, Harold Wimmer, then said:

Nearly 25 million children travel to school every day in diesel-powered school buses that emit millions of tons of pollution annually…Toxic pollution from diesel exhaust can harm brain development and children’s respiratory health.

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Electrek’s Grasp

We look forward to seeing this legislature pass in New York State. Every US state should pursue the goal of electrifying its school bus fleet.

What will happen to all the old diesel buses? Will they be scrapped or will they be converted to electric? And which electric school bus manufacturer will supply the new buses? We will find the answers and keep you posted.

Read more: New York’s Vehicle-to-Network Online School Bus Pilot Program is a Success

Photo: Leo

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