Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, applauds the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a critical step to putting student and community health first in student transportation. The program earmarks $500 million for the replacement of diesel-powered school buses with zero and low emission school buses. The funds will also assist school districts and other eligible participants to establish the required clean energy infrastructure.
The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) which provides a total of $5 billion over five years for clean school bus transportation. The program is designed to reduce air pollution and protect student and community health. It also aims to lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to the existential threat of climate change.
The EPA's Clean School Bus Rebate Program provides prioritized support to school districts in low income, rural or tribal communities across the United States. The agency enables school districts to replace their diesel-powered school buses with zero or low emission school buses powered by electricity, propane, or natural gas.
“As the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, Blue Bird is delighted to help turn the EPA's grand vision of clean student transportation into reality,” said Matthew Stevenson, president and CEO, Blue Bird Corporation. “The Clean School Bus Rebate Program will benefit kids and communities across all 50 U.S. states. It's great news especially for underserved communities. Students from low-income areas are disproportionately impacted by diesel pollution from school buses, since 60 percent of students from low-income families ride the bus to school. Clean energy transportation means cleaner air to breathe.”
The EPA plans to accept online applications for three months starting in early May and notify applicants by October 2022. Selected school districts and other eligible participants are required to order the buses and supporting infrastructure by April 2023 to qualify for the rebates. Blue Bird subject matter experts are well-equipped to assist members of its dealer network and school districts to apply for program funds. Interested parties can contact Blue Bird specialists via GrantSupport@blue-bird.com.
Blue Bird is the only U.S.-owned and operated school bus manufacturer in the United States. The company builds a full range of electric school buses which can carry a maximum of 84 passengers for up to 120 miles on a single charge. Depending on the charging infrastructure, the buses take between three and eight hours to recharge fully.
Apart from the benefits for student health and the environment, shifting to electric school buses can lead to significant cost saving opportunities long-term. Select Blue Bird customers reported fuel costs of up to 49 cents per mile for their diesel buses, compared to an average 14 cents per mile in energy costs for electric buses.
In addition, Blue Bird offers a comprehensive portfolio of low emission propane and natural gas-powered school buses. The company remains the proven clean transportation leader with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric-powered buses in operation today. Blue Bird manufactures its school buses in Fort Valley, Ga. The shift to clean transportation helps sustain approx. 2,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs. Blue Bird continues to ramp up production and fortify its supply chain to meet the increasing demand for zero and low emission school buses.
About Blue Bird Corporation
Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is recognized as a technology leader and innovator of school buses since its founding in 1927. Our dedicated team members design, engineer and manufacture school buses with a singular focus on safety, reliability, and durability. Blue Bird buses carry the most precious cargo in the world – the majority of 25 million children twice a day – making us the most trusted brand in the industry. The company is the proven leader in low- and zero-emission school buses with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric powered buses in operation today. Blue Bird is transforming the student transportation industry through cleaner energy solutions. For more information on Blue Bird's complete product and service portfolio, visit www.blue-bird.com. For Blue Bird's line of emission-free electric buses, visit www.bluebirdelectricbus.com.