Grants will fund electric school buses and chargers

VUSD Electric Bus

Air Pollution Control District awards help protect children and environment

(VENTURA, Calif. May 30, 2024) The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) has awarded $1.56 million to school districts in Oxnard and Ventura to replace diesel engine buses with new zero-emission electric ones and to install charging stations.


Ocean View School District (OVSD) received funding to replace one diesel bus with an electric one and purchase one charging station. Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) received funding to replace two diesel buses with two electric ones and purchase two charging stations. The charging stations will be level 3, the fastest and most powerful type available. The grants will cover the cost of the charging equipment and 87% of the price of the buses.


The new buses will help protect children, bus drivers and other school staff members from harmful emissions and improve air quality in surrounding areas. Collectively, they will reduce annual emissions of ozone precursors by 0.42 tons and diesel particulate matter by 6 pounds.


Research has shown that newer, cleaner-air school buses have benefits that go beyond reducing negative health effects from pollutants. A University of Michigan study published in March showed that students who ride in them have improved academic performance. The university previously found increased student attendance in U.S. school districts that replaced older buses with newer, cleaner ones.


The three new buses in Ventura and Oxnard also will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, by about 161 tons per year.


The electric school bus and charger grants make up 82% of funds being awarded by the VCAPCD through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Community Air Protection Incentive Program this year. The program requires that at least 80% of funds go to disadvantaged or low-income communities, which are the most impacted by air pollution. All the grants awarded by the VCAPCD through the program this year are going to areas that are designated this way.


These grants bring the total number of electric school buses funded by the VCAPCD to eight since 2019. OVSD and VUSD previously received grants for two buses each. The VCAPCD also provided funding to help Moorpark Unified School District buy one electric bus and charging equipment.


This is one of many programs throughout the country that help school districts buy electric school buses. In fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received nearly $1 billion to help school districts replace buses with lower-emitting versions. This month, CARB and the California Energy Commission began accepting applications for $500 million in Zero-Emission School Bus and Infrastructure Grants.


--- This was edited on June 12, 2024, to correct the amount of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.