Eight public school districts in Michigan have been awarded grant money to buy electric buses, as part of federal funding from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Detroit, Lansing and Pontiac school systems will all receive over $5.9 million in federal funding to purchase 15 electric school buses each, according to a press release from the state of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) shared earlier this month. Additional funding from third-party multistate grantees First Student Inc. and Highland CSB 1 is helping the state buy electric buses for the additional public school districts, as listed below:
- 10 buses in Flint
- 5 buses in Redford Union No. 1 near Detroit
- 2 buses in Mason County
- 2 buses in Brimley
- 2 buses in the West Shore Educational Service District in Ludington
“The Michigan Infrastructure Office applauds Detroit, Lansing, and Pontiac for their Clean School Bus Program wins. These federal dollars will purchase new, electric school busses for these school districts, providing a safer and cleaner ride to school for students,” said Zachary Kolodin, Michigan’s Chief Infrastructure Officer. “A single electric bus can eliminate 1,690 tons of CO2 over its lifespan, the equivalent of taking 27 cars off the road. These busses will save schools money on maintenance costs while meaningfully advancing the state’s climate goals.”
The state’s electric buses in the past have come from Lion Electric, though it isn’t clear from the release whether future units are also expected to come from the company.
The federal funding comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean School Bus Program (CSBP), as a part of the aforementioned infrastructure law. The CBSP awards are offering a total of $5 billion in federal funding for U.S. school bus electrification that’s being dispersed over a five-year period.
The EPA announced 2024 awardees in a press release earlier this month, noting that it had selected 67 applicant school districts across 37 states for this year’s funding round, with over $2 billion now having been awarded as part of the program. The agency says it expects this funding to support the purchase of roughly 5,000 electric and low-emission school buses across the U.S.
The state of Michigan says that around 17,000 school buses are used to transport over 800,000 students each school year, while 28 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the transportation sector. Michigan has also received funding for electric buses on a few separate occasions in the past.
Michigan’s EGLE contributed a $4.2 million grant to buy charging stations along with the state’s first 17 electric school buses for use in seven school districts. In 2022, Michigan was awarded $54 million in CBSP funding to purchase 138 electric school buses and infrastructure equipment for 25 school districts.