Funding for Clean School Buses
Financial incentives are a major part of the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) efforts to ensure clean school buses are operating at our schools and in our neighborhoods. These incentives can also help to drive the development of newer and cleaner technologies by speeding up their adoption by school bus fleet owners. Funding programs are either provided to local air districts to administer or through direct, state-run programs.
Most state grant funding programs require fleets to comply with state regulations to be eligible for funding. As part of the grant application process, the local jurisdiction or the state agency may ask the school bus owners to report their fleet in CARB’s Truck Regulation Upload, Compliance and Reporting System (TRUCRS) in order to verify compliance. For more information, read the Fact Sheet: Truck and Bus Regulation School Bus Provisions.
CARB’s financial incentives promote clean school buses and drive the adoption of cleaner technologies, and more information on these incentives can be found below:
Funds Available for Public School Districts
Hybrid & Zero-Emission Truck & Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22, the Public School Bus Set-Aside for Small and Medium Air Districts (Public School Bus Set-Aside) opened as a part of HVIP.
The Public School Bus Set-Aside is intended to cover nearly, if not all, of the full cost of new electric school buses and their accompanying infrastructure for eligible applicants and requires scrappage of an old bus. CARB has allocated $265 million of funding towards the purchase of zero-emission school buses, and CEC has allocated $35 million for supporting infrastructure. Funding is focused on “Underserved Rural” school bus fleets. The application period for FY 2022-23 is June 20-September 29, 2023.
Public School Bus Set-Aside information is located on the California HVIP Purchasers webpage.
Standard HVIP vouchers help offset the cost of hydrogen fuel cell or battery electric trucks and buses, and does not require scrappage of an old vehicle. Check the website for program and funding status. Learn More
AB617 - Community Air Protection Incentives
Community Air Protection funds are implemented by local air districts. Incentives are available to support early action emissions reductions in communities most affected by air pollution, as well as to support communities selected for air monitoring or emissions reduction programs and those under consideration for future selection. School bus replacements are an eligible project type under Community Air Protection incentives. Learn More
Carl Moyer Program
The Carl Moyer Program is administered by local air districts and provides funding for cleaner-than-required engines and equipment. School buses are one of the many categories of equipment funded through the program. Grant amounts vary depending on the project type. Learn More
Clean Mobility in Schools
Clean Mobility in Schools funds clean transportation and mobility strategies, including electric vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment in schools (K-12); car sharing for staff at schools to use zero-emission vehicles; curriculum development; workforce training; and outreach to students, parents, and the community. Building off lessons learned from the pilot projects and to further CARB’s equity initiatives, Clean Mobility in Schools opened a new solicitation for projects in summer 2023. The application is a two-phased process and the first phase of applications must be received by CARB no later than 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on September 8, 2023. Learn More
Lower-Emission School Bus Program (LESBP)
The LESBP is administered by local air districts, and funds new, cleaner technology school bus replacements and retrofit devices that significantly reduce toxic particulate matter emissions from diesel school buses.Learn More
Federal Clean School Bus Program
With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over five years (FY 2022-2026) to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models.
In 2023, EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding nationwide under the Clean School Bus Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity. Eligible activities include the replacement of existing internal-combustion engine (ICE) school buses with electric, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses, as well as the purchase of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure and EVSE installations.
Federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2010 allows the EPA to offer grants and rebates to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. EPA offers DERA funds via National Grants, Tribal Grants, Rebates, and State Allocations. Learn More
CARB has used DERA's State Allocations to fund retrofits and replacement of diesel school buses since 2011. For more information on CARB's allocation and spending of DERA funds, visit CARB and DERA School Bus Funding webpage.