Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will receive $26.7 million in federal funds to purchase 114 electric school buses as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Grant Program.
Over 98% of the buses will be deployed in prioritized school districts in low-income, rural, and/or Tribal communities, serving over 300,000 students across 13 counties. Grant recipients include public schools, charter schools, and tribal schools with significant investments in Durham (38 buses), Charlotte (27), and Cherokee (15).
“New funding for electric school buses means protecting the health of children from harmful diesel fumes, cutting carbon emissions, saving money on bus maintenance for tight public school budgets, and creating good jobs in North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “This investment is good for our students, schools, economy and planet and I appreciate the Biden Administration for investing in our communities across North Carolina.”
These 114 new buses are in addition to the 31 buses awarded to North Carolina schools under the Clean School Bus Program’s first round of funding in 2022. Gov. Cooper’s administration already funded 43 electric buses in 2022 through his settlement with Volkswagen , bringing the total to 188 electric, zero-emission buses in North Carolina schools in the last two years. These awards contribute to several key pillars of Governor Cooper’s goals: better resourced schools, building a clean energy economy, and creating a healthier environment for North Carolina’s children and communities.
The Clean School Bus Grant Program was made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda and 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Additional funding opportunities for clean and resilient infrastructure projects in North Carolina are expected this year.
EPA is currently accepting applications for the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program until January 31, 2024. EPA encourages applicants not selected for the 2023 Clean School Bus Grant Program – and those that did not apply – to participate in current and future funding rounds.
More information on these projects, other projects funded nationally, and about the program is available on the EPA Clean School Bus website.