New York City in 2021 committed to reach 100% school bus fleet electrification by 2035.

New York City in 2021 committed to reach 100% school bus fleet electrification by 2035.

Image: File, New York City Mayoral Photography Office

A school bus fleet electrification project in the Bronx was among 10 grand prize winners announced by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Clean Transportation Prizes program administered by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“I am proud to be providing the most significant investment yet in clean transportation for underserved communities in New York state,” Hochul said in a news release. “Improving access to clean mobility options, electrifying trucks and buses, and supporting projects that reduce air pollution modernizes the way residents and visitors access community services, recreation, and work opportunities while creating jobs, improving health, and reducing the impacts of climate change.”

Under the Electric Truck and Bus Challenge, New York City School Bus Umbrella Services launched a project following the city’s 2021 commitment to reach 100% school bus fleet electrification by 2035. Partnering with the World Resources Institute, NYLCV, Mobility House, and CALSTART, NYCSBUS proposed:

  • An innovation cluster to train existing talent on electric school buses.
  • Charging infrastructure planning with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) preparation.
  • A mobility hub demonstrating heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) electric mobility can support other sustainable transportation choices benefiting the community.

The Electric School Buses in the Bronx (ESBB) project aims to deploy 30 electric school buses at the Bronx Zerega depot in two phases, with the goal to fully electrify the entire 960 bus fleet by 2035.

According to the project proposal, after three years, “the ESBB project will produce a best-practices guide for school districts, standardizing test materials, networked charging plans, V2G integration guides, and mobility hub how-to’s.”

The prize program is funded by investor-owned utilities through New York State’s $701 million EV Make Ready program to boost access to charging stations, electric vehicle infrastructure, and other clean transportation options, and support equitable access and benefits for lower-socioeconomic and disadvantaged communities.

“We are proud to have partnered with state agencies, innovators, and utilities to support solutions that are at the forefront of overcoming transportation barriers in underserved communities,” said Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA and co-chair of the Climate Action Council. “These replicable solutions represent the best in innovative transportation and highlight how we as policy implementers, innovators, and community partners can work together to help increase clean transportation options across the Empire State.”