New York State Governor calls for 100% electric school buses by 2035

Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) delivered her first State of the State address yesterday, and her “New Era for New York” platform says she will propose legislation to move to 100% electric school buses by 2035.

She will also propose legislation requiring that, by 2027, all new school bus purchases be zero-emissions.

New York State Electric School Bus Map

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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