New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has earned the praise of electric vehicle advocates with her call this week to achieve all-electric school buses in the Empire State by 2035.
In a document released for her State of the State address, Hochul outlined a proposal to introduce legislation that would require exclusive purchase of zero-emissions school buses by 2027.
“There are roughly 50,000 school buses on the streets in New York State, polluting the communities they operate in with harmful emissions,” the text stated. “It is estimated that fully electrifying school buses in New York City alone would be the equivalent of taking nearly 650,000 passenger vehicles off the road.”
The planned legislation would ensure that the state “provides school aid toward installing electric bus infrastructure, including charging stations, and purchasing or leasing electric buses,” according to the governor’s document.
The national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) cheered Hochul’s call to accelerate electric school bus deployment.
“Gov. Hochul’s commitment to help school districts transition from diesel-burning buses to electric ones is great news for New Yorkers’ health, environment, and economy,” said Ryan Gallentine, AEE’s transportation policy director, in a news release. “AEE proudly joins a broad coalition of groups in applauding the governor’s leadership on this issue, and we look forward to helping New York enact first-in-the-nation programs to equitably advance electric school buses.”
The Electrification Coalition’s executive director, Ben Prochazka, shared a similar sentiment for Hochul’s “bold but achievable commitment to wean New York’s school buses off oil. This commitment establishes New York as a clear leader in the important work to give students a clean ride to school.”