NJ Launches Three-Year Electric School Bus Incentive Program
NJ Governor Murphy signed a recent bill to require the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to begin a three-year “Electric School Bus Program” that will provide funding for electric school bus purchases across NJ. The bill intends to continue the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and protection of children and families from air pollutants.
“In order to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and capitalize on the benefits of electric vehicles, we must electrify not just the cars that bring us to work, but the buses that deliver our children to school,” said Governor Murphy in a statement.
The DEP will issue $15 million in grants in year one through the Electric School Bus Program, and up to $15 million in Years Two and Three for a total of up to $45 million. At least six school districts or bus contractors will be awarded the grants annually. At least half of which will be allocated to a low-income or urban community to mitigate the disproportionate health impacts seen in vulnerable populations.
“By getting our children off diesel and on to electric school buses, we are better protecting their health and our entire communities from the particulate matter diesel buses spew into our neighborhoods,” said Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette.
Joseph Fiordaliso, President of the NJ Board of Public Utilities added “... more than 40 percent of the state’s emissions come from transportation" and explained the Board has implemented several programs aimed at increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road, "...we are encouraging NJ to drive electric...and ensuring that when they do they find many places along the way to charge their vehicles.”
“On average, children who ride in a diesel-powered school bus are exposed to 4-12 times the level of toxic exhaust than riding in a car,” said Senator Linda R. Greenstein. “School buses are known to emit greenhouse gases and carcinogens, both of which....threaten exposed individuals with elevated lifetime risks of developing cancer, asthma, and heart disease. By implementing this program, we’re offering students a healthier and more environmentally friendly way to get to and from school each day.”
To read more about the law, click here.