News Story

Why $125M won’t buy many electric school buses

A round of Michigan bus grants in 2022 came to $391K per bus; nationwide average is $360K per bus

Michigan’s school aid fund will spend $125 million in 2024 on electric school buses. A recent round of federal funding for electric school buses indicates school districts might not get many vehicles out of the expenditure.

In November 2022, the state announced $54 million in clean school bus rebates, covering 138 buses at 25 school districts.

That averages out to $391,304 per bus.

If Michigan were to buy $125 million worth of school buses at the same cost, it would equate to about 319 buses.

The budget bill was passed in such a way that charging infrastructure is a qualified cost. Depending on how much infrastructure is needed, there could be fewer than 319 buses bought.

The funds for all the buses mentioned come from the same source: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program, which will spend $5 billion over five years, 2022 through 2026.

So far, the program has spent about $1.84 billion to replace 5,103 school buses at a cost of $360,572 per bus.


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.