Virginia relaunches Clean School Bus funding scheme


The state of Virginia announced more than $10 million in funding through the Clean School Bus Program run by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The funding is available to public school districts to replace diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives.

The new scheme follows an earlier funding round launched in August, which helped replace 83 diesel school buses in 19 districts with another ten million dollars. The DEQ, when announcing the Clean School Bus program today, said public school districts that previously received funds were also eligible to apply for additional funds.

DEQ will award up to $300,000 per electric bus and charging infrastructure, and $15,000 per propane bus, to replace diesel school buses powered by a 2009 or older engine model year. Applications are due in February, with webinars scheduled for 26 October and 4 November.

The funding is part of Virginia’s $93.6 million paid by Volkswagen following the emission fraud scandal.

It is also in line with the state’s target to electrify school buses set out in 2019. The scheme started with 50 e-buses by Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built being deployed. However, Governor Ralph Northam, at the time, wanted to see 1,000 electric school buses taking to Virginia’s roads by 2025. “By 2030, I think it should be a goal of ours to have all of the buses that travel the roads in Virginia electric,” he said.

DEQ has also distributed awards through the Volkswagen fund for projects including electric transit vehicles, electric equipment at the Port of Virginia and the development of a statewide charging network for electric vehicles. Virginia reportedly opted for EVgo as a partner, and the company has since grown the Drive Electric Virginia to cover key locations across the state.


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