Alternative Fuels

Southern California Districts to Receive Nearly $9M for Electric School Buses

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on June 9, 2017
Eighteen southern California school districts will receive funds from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for up to two electric school buses each and charging infrastructure. Shown here is an eLion electric school bus.
Eighteen southern California school districts will receive funds from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for up to two electric school buses each and charging infrastructure. Shown here is an eLion electric school bus.

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. — More than a dozen school districts here will soon receive funding from the state to add electric school buses to their fleets.

On June 2, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) unanimously approved $8,844,000 for 33 electric school buses and charging infrastructure that will be distributed to 18 southern California school districts, documentation from the management district shows. Fifteen of the school districts will receive two electric school buses, and three districts will receive one bus.  

The buses that the schools can purchase must be Type C or Type D buses, included on the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) approved list (such as GreenPower’s Synapse 72 Type D school bus and Lion Bus’ eLion), have a minimum battery range of 60 miles from a single charge, and have a battery warranty of at least five years. Districts will not be required to replace older buses when purchasing the electric buses.

One of the criteria for districts to receive the funding for the buses was that they be located in areas that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, according to management district documentation.
A total of 51 public school districts and two private charter schools had applied for the funds, requesting 295 electric school buses.  

One of the awarded districts, Coachella Valley Unified School District, will receive $536,000 for up to two electric school buses and charging infrastructure. Apolonio Del Toro, the district’s transportation director, told The Desert Sun that the district faces transportation hurdles because of its considerable size and low-income student population, and “looked at this as a good opportunity to add to the fleet and to reduce emissions.”

News of these awards follows an announcement in May that three school districts in northern California are receiving electric school buses with assistance from a state grant.

Related Topics: alternative fuels, California, electric bus, GreenPower Motor Co., Lion Bus Inc.

Nicole Schlosser Managing Editor
Comments ( 4 )
  • Tina

     | about 2 years ago

    With the same amount they spent for those electric school buses they could of bought 3 times as many diesel buses. Not to mention the infrastructure to charge the buses. With the gross polluting buses still having to be ran on daily routes because there is no funds for buses this makes zero since to me. If we run our worst gross polluting buses maybe they will give us money but since we run the best we have some school districts don't qualify. Try to cut down the pollution and run your newest buses that meet more of the safety requirements got a lot of districts over looked. Which I might add most buses still don't have seat belts because districts can't afford to buy a new bus which is now equipped with seat belts by law. So the pollution problem is more important than student safety? Would love to see how much pollution is caused by a new 2017-18 diesel school bus? These electric buses can't be driven very far (60 Miles) so rural routes and field trip buses still have to remain as diesel to get the job done. Wake up air boards!!!

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