New York Zero-Emission School Buses Receive $100 Million in Funding


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says $100 million is now available for zero-emission school buses under the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.

The New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP) provides funding to make clean buses and the associated charging infrastructure more affordable for public school districts and bus operators that contract with them while reducing pollution, and improving air quality in communities across the state, particularly those that are underserved.

Hochul’s announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050 and New York state’s requirements that all school buses in the state be zero-emission by 2035. 
Administered by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), NYSBIP provides incentives to eligible school bus fleet operators that purchase zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). This funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis with incentive amounts starting at $114,000 and covering up to 100% of the incremental cost of a new or repowered zero-emission school bus, depending on the type of vehicle.

Larger voucher amounts are available for priority districts that include high-need school districts and disadvantaged communities, as defined by the New York State Climate Justice Working Group. Additional incentives are also available for fleets removing internal combustion engine buses from operation, purchasing wheelchair-accessible buses or purchasing buses with vehicle- to-grid capability.   
The program also provides rebates to eligible school bus fleet operators that purchase and install eligible charging infrastructure in association with newly purchased zero-emission school buses. School bus fleet owners (the school district or their contractor) are also eligible to receive $25,000 per bus for charging infrastructure, or $35,000 if they serve a priority district. Fleet owners that have completed electrification plans are eligible to receive $55,000 per bus for charging infrastructure, or $65,000 if they serve a priority district. Vehicle manufacturers and bus dealers can also continue to apply to offer their vehicles on a rolling basis. 
Program eligibility and rules for charging infrastructure funding are available online through the NYSBIP Implementation Manual. NYSERDA will accept applications on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted under the current round and will accept applications under future rounds as it oversees the distribution of the Bond Act’s additional $400 million earmarked for zero-emission school buses and infrastructure.

Schools and school bus contractors do not apply to the program directly. School bus dealers apply on their behalf after they have issued purchase orders for their electric buses. Incentives for school buses are disbursed directly to dealers and manufacturers to offset some or all of the difference in purchase price between zero-emission school buses and comparable diesel or gas-powered buses while charging infrastructure incentives are issued directly to the fleet owner. The Bond Act requires that disadvantaged communities receive no less than 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefit of total Bond Act funds. In line with this goal, NYSERDA will aim to ensure at least 40% of the NYSBIP benefits disadvantaged communities. Buses based in priority districts are eligible for higher incentive amounts in support of new zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure. 

NYSBIP eligibility guidelines were open for public comment through September 1, 2023, and published September 28, 2023, following public engagement on Bond Act implementation that included a project idea survey and a statewide listening tour that served to identify needs for environmental funding across the state through a transparent and collaborative process. For more information, visit 

New York State provides many resources for school bus operators to transition their fleets to zero-emission buses, including the New York State Electric School Bus Roadmap and the Electric School Bus Guidebook. Additionally, $5 million of the initial $100 million in Environmental Bond Act funding is set aside for technical assistance for New York State school bus fleets to develop fleet electrification plans. High-need districts can have up to 100% of the cost of these plans covered.

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