The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new partnership with two national electric utilities groups to increase collaboration with school districts as they electrify their bus fleets.
EPA Administrator Michael Reagan made the announcement on Feb. 8 during an event to mark the first two electric buses delivered in Kansas. He visited Wabaunsee USD 329, located in north-central Kansas about 40 miles west of Topeka. The rural school district was one of 400 recipients of the first round of Clean School Bus Program awards for zero- and low-emissions school buses.
According to Wabaunsee officials, the two LionC electric school buses were delivered in December and are already on route.
Meanwhile, EPA’s new partnership with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL) aims to “promote seamless collaboration between school districts and their electric utility providers, ensuring the successful deployment of electric buses nationwide.” EEI represents U.S. investor-owned electric companies and the BEL that works with rural electric cooperatives nationwide.
EPA said EEI and BEL have pledged to facilitate communication between school districts and electric providers, provide technical support and assistance, and work toward more funding for and deployment of electric school buses.
“This program is a crucial step for reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn in a statement. “The new electric school buses will lower maintenance costs and help to improve local air quality while providing clean and reliable transportation for students. America’s electric companies are committed to helping their local school districts plan for their new electric school bus fleets.”
EPA also announced its second annual report to Congress on the CSBP. According to the report, 99 percent of year-one rebate award selectees met the priority definition under the U.S. Census for low-income and rural communities as well as tribal governments. An interactive online dashboard also provides updated information about each rebate award.
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