As the latest round of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus funding expands its prioritization pool and encourages new fleets to apply, propane remains an affordable, reliable and currently available option that’s eligible for the rebates. As many school districts from previous Clean School Bus funding rounds wait for their electric buses to be delivered or for infrastructure to be installed, propane autogas buses and propane-powered, off-grid recharging solutions are readily available to jumpstart the clean student transportation movement.
“We want to see the positive impact of this Clean School Bus program as soon as possible to start reducing emissions and providing a clean ride to school for our students,” said Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development with the Propane Education & Research Council. “Whether a school district chooses to apply for propane autogas buses or electric buses with propane-powered recharging infrastructure, the propane industry has the technology available now to put clean options on the road for any school district.”
Transportation directors interested in propane autogas buses should know that the clean energy source reduces harmful nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions by 96% compared to diesel and has virtually zero particulate matter emissions. Additionally, propane autogas also offers a lower cost-per-pound to reduce greenhouse gases than comparable EV school buses thanks to its low vehicle, fuel, maintenance, and infrastructure costs. Fleets in rural, underserved and tribal communities often choose propane autogas school buses because they are affordable, they can provide a range of up to 400 miles and they are able to still operate if the grid goes down.
Transportation directors interested in electric vehicle (EV) buses can purchase propane-powered charging infrastructure with the rebates. The nanogrid technology is powered by renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and a propane generator to reliably recharge school buses independent of the grid, providing a portable option that can be installed in as little as 24 hours.
“It will take a mix of both EV and propane autogas buses to drive down emissions for all our students,” Whaley said. “The key is investing in the technology that makes the most sense for each route. Either way, propane is ready to lead the charge as an energy option for every school district.”
Applications must be submitted electronically here no later than 4:00 p.m. EST on January 31, 2024.
For more information on propane solutions for school transportation, visit BetterOurBuses.com.