The awards for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates have been announced. The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) has been awarded $9.8 million to replace 25 vehicles in service with electric buses.
With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA's new Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over the next five years (FY 2022-2026) to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. EPA solicited applications for $500 million through the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates for zero-emission and low-emission school bus rebates as the first funding opportunity. The benefits of electric buses are many. Among them:
- Zero tailpipe pollution -- students, drivers, and members of the community will be exposed to significantly less harmful diesel emissions like particulate matter and nitrous oxides
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel school buses
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Less brake wear due to regenerative braking and no engine or exhaust system maintenance
- Potential for reduced fuel costs compared to diesel depending on electricity costs
- Quiet, clean operation
- Potential for fleets to partner with local utilities to feed power back into the grid when buses are not in use and electricity demand is high.
In addition to the Clean School Bus Program, SCCPSS is deploying electric vehicles for its Campus Police department. These high-performance vehicles can travel across the county quickly, on just a quick charge. The new vehicles had to pass a series of rigorous tests to ensure they were fit for policing purposes.
Denise Grabowski, District 1 Board Representative, expressed her delight at the announcement today. "In addition to the savings on fuel and maintainence of electric vehciles, there is the added benefit to students who respiratory issues - that by eliminating emissions,, we are providing cleaner air for our students and removing triggers for asthmatics. Asthma and related illnesses are one of the main reasons students miss school. And then there is the impact on students with sensory issues. The noise of the bus can be a trigger for those students, as well."
SCCPSS is working with Georgia Power, as well as other vendors, to increase capacity in alternative power. Throughout the district, you will see solar farms powering District facilities.