New Jersey budgets $15m a year for electric school buses


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill requiring the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement a three-year ‘Electric School Bus Program’. The budget stands at $45 million or $15m per year. It is the latest bill in a row the EV-savvy Governor has signed.

In the case of New Jersey’s Electric School Bus scheme, the DEP will issue grants for both zero-emission vehicles and the required charging infrastructure. At least six school districts or bus contractors will receive funding annually.

The DEP must also allocate at least half of the grant funding each year to operators in a low-income, urban, or environmental justice community.

“In order to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and optimally capitalise on the benefits of vehicle electrification, we must electrify not just the cars that bring us to work, but the buses that safely deliver our children to school,” said Governor Murphy.

“On a typical school day in New Jersey, more than 800,000 students utilise one of the state’s 15,000 diesel school buses,” added Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr.

New Jersey actively promotes electric transport

The electric school bus bill (A1282) stands in a line of initiatives in New Jersey. In early 2020 Governor Murphy signed the first bill to promote electric vehicles. The state called for two million plug-in cars by 2035 and offered consumers rebates of up to $5,000. The ‘Light Duty Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rebate Program’ will run for ten years. Then in 2021, Murphy’s office announced more than $100 million investment in clean transportation projects ranging from decarbonising cargo port handling to charging infrastructure, ride-hailing, and electrifying garbage and delivery trucks. In November last year, Jersey City first deployed five battery-electric refuse trucks. In the most recent news from February, the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) committed to a 100 per cent clean fleet by 2040 in alignment with New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan.

Funding for the new Electric School Bus Program can come from the Clean Energy Fund, the Global Warming Solutions Fund (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proceeds), monies available from utility programs to upgrade electrical infrastructure for vehicle charging, appropriations, or any other public funding. For Year One, the program’s budget comes from the General Fund.


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