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California Adopts New Law to Boost Electric School Bus Adoption

Posted by Angelyn Tabalba on Oct 8, 2023

Newly signed law mandates new school buses be electric starting in 2035, building on California’s clean transportation leadership  

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA   Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 579 (AB 579) into law, speeding up the transition to zero-emission school buses. The law sets a statewide goal requiring all new school buses purchased or leased after 2035 to be zero-emission and extends transportation services and leasing contracts for zero emission school buses to ease the transition. 

By moving up the timeline for clean school buses, California can bring the benefits of clean air and cost savings to children and schools faster. This action is the latest significant effort to fast-track clean school transportation.

California’s efforts to electrify its transportation system have been a model for the nation and the world. Accelerating zero-emission school buses is the right next step,” said Ryan Gallentine, Transportation Policy Director at Advanced Energy United, which sponsored the legislation. “We thank Governor Newsom for standing with the diverse coalition of parents, educators, health professionals, and industry leaders who understand the far-reaching public benefits of zero-emission school buses.

AB 579 offers a thoughtful approach to the adoption of electric school buses, providing financing options that ease the transition for school districts,” added Gallentine. When combined with existing electric school bus programs and federal grants, this legislation will accelerate California’s progress and ensure future generations of students can breathe easier. 

California is home to one of the largest school bus fleets in the nation and schools are well-equipped to embrace the transition to zero-emission buses. The state legislature allocated $1.5 billion last year for electric school buses and essential charging infrastructure. Funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are already heading to California schools to aid the transition. Establishing a statewide purchasing goal will support school districts in their applications for additional grants through EPA Clean School Bus Program, which recently opened another multi-million dollar funding round.

More information about AB 579 can be found here.

Click here to learn more about Advanced Energy United's work to electrify transportation in the United States.

Topics: Press Releases, Ryan Gallentine, Electric school buses, California