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Colorado’s clean air investment package offers affordable path to electric school bus adoption

Posted by Cayli Baker on May 10, 2022

The $65 million grant program sets Colorado on track to electrify its school bus fleet and drive new electrification funding to the state.

DENVER, CO, May 10, 2022 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) applauded Colorado’s new electric school bus grant program, which provides an initial $65 million investment for schools to more quickly make the switch to clean bus rides for kids. The program passed out of Legislature today as a part of Senate Bill 193, a broader air quality investment package. 

“Reliable incentives for school districts are one of the most critical steps lawmakers can take to power the switch to electric school buses and help Colorado kids breathe easy on their way to and from school,” said Emilie Olson, Colorado state lead for AEE. “Today’s investment sends a clear signal that Colorado is committed to a healthier future for our children by expanding pollution-free school transportation. The grant program will also give Colorado schools a competitive edge when it comes to accessing the incoming federal infrastructure dollars dedicated to securing clean school buses.” 

State-allocated funding, like today’s grant program, will also enable Colorado schools to access the economic benefits of bus electrification, such as fuel and maintenance savings, and bring the most advanced school buses available to the state. Up to $5 billion in federal infrastructure funds will also become available for school districts across the country to purchase zero-emission school buses through a competitive Environmental Protection Agency grant process. 

“Upfront costs are one of the biggest barriers for school districts looking to electrify their bus fleets, and Colorado’s new grant program, together with complementary federal and private investment, is a surefire way to get more kids into safer, cleaner buses,” said Matt Stanberry, Managing Director for Highland Electric Fleets. “Electric school buses offer communities better air, quieter rides, and fewer repairs, and Highland Electric Fleets is proud to be championing these benefits for communities across Colorado from our newest headquarters in Denver.” 

“Electric school buses are already on the road in Durango and Kremmling, with others on the way. Today’s investment makes Colorado the first state in the Mountain West to establish this kind of innovative clean bus program and drive their benefits to school districts in all corners of the state. We at AEE look forward to working with the Governor’s office, the legislature, and the Department of Public Health and Environment to quickly and equitably deploy these dollars so that healthy school bus rides become the status quo for Colorado’s kids,” continued Olson.   

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Topics: Press Releases, electric vehicles, Colorado, Emilie Olson