California allows electric school buses only from 2035

SAN FRANCISCO - California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new legislation requiring that from 2035, all newly ordered or contracted school buses must be zero-emission.

The state estimates that switching to electric school buses will cost around five billion dollars over the next decade. That is because a diesel equivalent costs about 200,000 dollars less than a battery-electric version. And “the California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state.”

There are about 23,800 school buses on the road in California. About 500 are already electric, and 2,078 electric buses have been ordered.

There are – as always- exceptions to the rule. So-called “frontier districts,” which have less than 600 students or are in a county with a population density of less than ten persons per square mile, can file for a five-year extension. However, they must “reasonably demonstrate that a daily planned bus route for transporting pupils to and from school cannot be serviced through available zero-emission technology in 2035.”

Califonia is the fifth US state to mandate electric school buses. Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, and New York implemented similar legislation.


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