In April 2022, New York State mandated that the state’s school bus fleet transition to zero-emission electric buses by 2035. New York transports approximately 2.3 million students via 44,000 school buses on a yearly basis, making the change to electric school buses a priority. This conversion is also a vital step in delivering air quality improvements to underserved communities and helping achieve New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.
To address this challenge, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority asked ERG to develop for stakeholders the information required to best support and accelerate the transition to a zero-emission fleet. ERG developed a roadmap for state policymakers that highlights challenges to transition the fleet to electric buses; presents recommendations to overcome these barriers; identifies financing options and available funding sources; and provides an overview of potential policies and programs the state might consider to assist fleet operators with the transition. ERG is also developing a guidebook for school districts, contractor fleets, and other interested parties that details the environmental and student health benefits of zero-emission buses; provides an overview of procurement strategies for electric school buses and electrical charging infrastructure; and compiles resources and case studies that will facilitate a fluid transition to an all-electric fleet.