Over 25 million children in the U.S. ride a school bus on their way to get an education. Nearly 90 percent of those school buses are operated on diesel, which exposes them to toxins and carcinogens known to cause asthma, cancer, and pollution-related illness. Dirty diesel school buses are basically refineries on wheels. The soot and particulate matter that spews out of the tailpipes gets deeply embedded into children’s lungs, and diesel pollution inside the bus can be up to five times higher than outside the bus. A few of the effects this can have on the children and workers who drive the bus include: allergies, asthma, upper respiratory disease, increased instances of pneumonia, heart attack, hospitalization, problems focusing, lower IQ and test scores, childhood leukemia, and more.
Green For All is mobilizing for zero-emission electric buses because every child deserves a clean ride to school. There is a new technology out there. Electric school buses have zero tailpipe emissions, which means zero toxins and zero carcinogens for our children to breathe. Electric buses also emit less carbon no matter where in the country they charge from. Some electric buses are charged by a power grid that is 100% renewable power, while others charge from an electrical grid that comes from other sources of power. No matter where on the grid the bus is charged, electric buses produce fewer carbon emissions than diesel buses, which is good for the climate.
“It’s hard to learn if you can’t breathe…Let’s put our kids on buses going forward toward a clean energy future.”Van Jones
Bring electric school buses to your neighborhood
Green For All has partnered with over a dozen organizations in our #FuelChange Network to release the Electric School Bus Take Action Toolkit. Download the toolkit to take action where you live. You’ll find all the information, resources, and step-by-step guidance you need to put your school district on a path toward a zero-emission future. Plus, once you download the toolkit, we’ll get in touch to let you know about upcoming webinars, trainings, and opportunities to connect with likeminded local leaders like yourself who are taking action all across the country.
Support the Clean School Bus Act
Green For All is proud to support the Clean School Bus Act (S. 1750 and H.R. 3973). This legislation would help schools serving low-income neighborhoods afford to purchase electric buses.
The Clean School Bus Act would:
- Provide grants of up to $2 million to replace diesel school buses with electric school buses, invest in charging infrastructure, and support workforce development.
- Give priority to applications that serve lower-income students, replace the most polluting buses, and leverage the funding to further decrease pollution and emissions, including through partnerships with local utilities.
- Authorize $1 billion over five years at the Department of Energy to fund a Clean School Bus Grant Program to spur increased adoption of this clean technology.
Inclusive financing for buses
Electric buses are much cheaper to fuel and maintain, but the upfront cost to buy electric over diesel can still be a barrier. Green For All is mobilizing for greater public funding and private financing to help schools overcome the upfront cost barriers.
Utilities can be a valuable partner in helping schools make the switch to electric buses. Utilities can help finance the upfront cost of electric buses, particularly for low-income and minority-serving schools, with Pay-As-You-Save type loans and/or through investments in charging infrastructure. Not only does this help the school be able to afford the cost of electric buses, it provides a new market opportunity for the utility to gain new customers. Think about it; currently, schools power their vehicles with diesel or gas. If they start powering their buses with electricity, that’s more money for the utility company.
SPOTLIGHT: Twin Rivers Unified School District
Green For All is proud to partner with Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento, California. Twin Rivers USD has the largest electric school bus fleet in the country with more than 20 electric buses, and is showing us what’s possible.