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Kamala Harris Unveils $5 Billion For Electric School Buses As Nation Sees Largest Learning Decline In Decades


Vice President Kamala Harris is spearheading a White House initiative to electrify the nation’s school buses, the administration announced Wednesday.

The project will leverage nearly $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for rebates awarded to school districts which purchase electric school buses. According to a fact sheet, the Biden administration will eventually spend $5 billion on the program.

“School buses safely transport more than 25 million children every day across America,” the White House said. “However, diesel exhaust from buses produces particulate matter and other pollutants that can cause lung damage and aggravate asthma and other health problems in children. In addition, diesel exhaust exposure has been linked to increased school absences.”


The $913 million released by the first funding round divided among 2,463 electric buses implies an average cost of more than $370,000 per vehicle, which is twice as expensive as the typical diesel school bus, according to the Philadelphia School District, which added five new electric buses to its fleet earlier this year. Officials in the City of Brotherly Love expect annual fuel savings of roughly $5,000.

“When I think about what the experience should be for our children of going to school on the school bus, I think about the fact that it should be about maximizing that experience for them, understanding that this bus symbolizes so much about our collective investment in our future,” Harris said at an event in Seattle, Washington, unveiling the school bus program. “Because, of course, it is about our investment in our children, in their health, and in their education. And in that way, our electric school bus program really does represent an intersection of all those points, on top of the importance of investing in domestic manufacturing.”

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Vice President Kamala Harris is spearheading a White House initiative to electrify the nation’s school buses, the administration announced Wednesday.

The project will leverage nearly $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for rebates awarded to school districts which purchase electric school buses. According to a fact sheet, the Biden administration will eventually spend $5 billion on the program.

“School buses safely transport more than 25 million children every day across America,” the White House said. “However, diesel exhaust from buses produces particulate matter and other pollutants that can cause lung damage and aggravate asthma and other health problems in children. In addition, diesel exhaust exposure has been linked to increased school absences.”

The $913 million released by the first funding round divided among 2,463 electric buses implies an average cost of more than $370,000 per vehicle, which is twice as expensive as the typical diesel school bus, according to the Philadelphia School District, which added five new electric buses to its fleet earlier this year. Officials in the City of Brotherly Love expect annual fuel savings of roughly $5,000.

“When I think about what the experience should be for our children of going to school on the school bus, I think about the fact that it should be about maximizing that experience for them, understanding that this bus symbolizes so much about our collective investment in our future,” Harris said at an event in Seattle, Washington, unveiling the school bus program. “Because, of course, it is about our investment in our children, in their health, and in their education. And in that way, our electric school bus program really does represent an intersection of all those points, on top of the importance of investing in domestic manufacturing.”

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