US PERC asks school transport directors to consider LPG in the new round of Clean School Bus funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently opened a new round of Clean School Bus funding opportunities and is expected to award about $400 million in grants under this program. This aid will help fund the replacement of existing school buses with low- and zero-emission school buses. Applications must be submitted electronically until 22 August.

For every Autogas bus purchased through the program, the EPA will provide school transportation directors with up to $35,000. The program prioritises high-need local educational agencies, rural, and tribal school districts. As an affordable, portable, and available energy source, Autogas is an ideal solution for these prioritised categories.

“Every child deserves to have a safe, clean, healthy ride to school. If we keep pouring money only into expensive electric buses—even with rebates or grants—only a select number of students will be able to see that reality. We need to face facts that it will take a mix of energy sources to achieve that goal,” said Steve Whaley, Director of Autogas Business Development with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

In 2022, the EPA solicited applications for $1 billion for zero- and low-emission school bus rebates. The $1 billion from this first round of funding paid for 2,350 electric school buses. The funding also awarded 109 low-emissions LPG-powered buses. The same amount of money distributed for electric buses could have helped fund as many as 29,000 LPG buses, assuming each bus received the $30,000 incentive from the program.

When considering well-to-wheel emissions, the 2,350 diesel buses the grant replaced with electric will reduce NOx emissions by just 665 metric tonnes per year and CO2 emissions by only 36,870 metric tonnes. If the funds had gone toward the 29,000 Autogas buses to replace diesel, it would have reduced nearly 10 times the amount of NOx emissions and three times the amount of CO2 emissions.

Source: PERC

21 June 2023