Gov. Kathy Hochul used her first State of the State Address to reiterate New York State’s commitment to electric school buses.
Hochul, who took office on Aug. 24 to replace Andrew Cuomo after he resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations, did not mention school buses during her 35-minute address on Wednesday. But her office released a 237-page document that included details on page 160 of legislation she plans to propose that would require only new electric school bus purchases by 2027, with all 50,000 school buses statewide running on zero emissions by 2035.
In October, the New York City Council passed a bill requiring all 9,500 school buses to be powered by electricity by 2035.
The state’s legislation is expected to include funding for school districts to pay for installing electric infrastructure, including charging stations and purchasing or leasing the buses. School districts would also be able to contract the buses for longer than five years, which is the current limit, to make paying for the electric buses more affordable.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the New York Power Authority and the State Department of Education will also apply for grant funds available from the federal Infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden in November.
As part of the school bus electrification program, Hochul would also direct NYSERDA to update the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program to include only zero-emissions battery and green hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.
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