News Story

Coming to Michigan in 2024: $125M of electric school buses

Rural districts will receive priority placement

Among the wins touted in the MI Healthy Climate Plan 2023 Annual Report: “$125 million to help school districts buy clean school buses.”

The Electrification Coalition noted in June 2023 that the 2023-24 state budget would spend money on school buses, mostly for electric vehicles.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer believes Michigan needs to build the infrastructure for 2 million EVs by 2030. But her plans to overhaul the state’s 8,800-vehicle fleet moves a decade slower, and the transition won’t be complete until 2040.

Portions of Michigan’s 17,000 school buses will transition to electric ahead of the state government fleet.

As the Illinois-based Environmental Policy and Law Center wrote, “This funding will prioritize low income and rural school districts, school districts in areas most affected by air pollution, and other environmental justice factors.”

Ann Arbor Public Schools was an early adopter of the electric school bus. Officials have admitted publicly that the onboarding of just four electric school buses has been a struggle.

Cost was a problem. The buses themselves cost five times what a regular bus would, while the charging infrastructure was four times more expensive than estimated.

There were also downtime and performance issues.

Watch the video for yourself here, courtesy the Free Beacon

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is funding the push for electric school buses with $5 billion over the next five years.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.