McCANDLESS TOWNSHIP, PA – State Senator Lindsey Williams, in partnership with S&B USA eMobility, hosted an informational forum on Monday, February 13, 2023, at the A.W. Beattie Career Center. The forum was geared towards local school districts and bussing operators that are interested in deploying electric school busses or that are considering electric fleet conversions. Nearly a dozen local school districts, as well as representatives from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and local transportation companies attended the event.
During the forum, school districts and local transportation operators received information about several funding mechanisms, including the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI), Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) program and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program.
The NEVI program will provide states with $7.5 billion to help make EV charging more accessible. Over the first 5 years of the NEVI Program, Pennsylvania will receive $171.5 million in dedicated funding. Additionally, Pennsylvania has been awarded $34.6 million for the Clean School Bus Program. AFIG has approximately $3 million in funding available to school districts, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses in Pennsylvania that want to transition to cleaner fuel transportation.
“Now is the time for local stakeholders to orient themselves with the programs and award timelines associated with these funding streams,” said Senator Williams. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to access and leverage millions of dollars that can improve the health and wellness of our schools, kids, and communities, while helping to bolster the region’s green economy.”
Senator Williams and S&B USA eMobility convened a number of stakeholders critical to the e-bussing conversation including Duquesne Light Co., the Green Building Alliance, and GreenPower Motor Co. Each of these organizations brought a unique perspective and helped inform the school districts on the various components and considerations for conversion to or implementation of electric school buses.
“Bringing e-school busses online requires early and ongoing collaboration amongst a variety of stakeholders, including facilities and operations personnel, administrators, transportation managers, finance directors, local power generation providers, and other potential funding partners,” said Grant Ervin, Director of Environmental, Social, Governance and Innovation for S&B USA. “Today’s forum was a solid first step in helping to position local stakeholders for success.”
At the forum, representatives from S&B USA’s eMobility division provided attendees with informational materials aimed at providing a holistic snapshot of available funding programs, while outlining a number of recommendations that districts and operators should consider when evaluating the implementation of e-school busses. Green Power Motor Co. also provided attendees with a Ride and Drive demonstration on one of its school busses.