Electric School Bus Campaign

Download Our NJ Electric School Bus Buyers’ Guide

This free, easy-to-read guide provides basic information on everything you need to know to purchase electric school buses.  It contains lists of vendor contacts, information on grants, tax incentives, and rebates, and basic information on how to select the best bus to meet your district’s specific needs.

Read Buyer's Guide


The ABCs of Electric School Buses. Learn the facts about electric school buses.

We invite you to check out our new website, ABCs of Electric School Buses, which is a joint project of the Sierra Club and our partners in the effort to electrify our state’s electric school buses, Environment NJ, Clean Cities Coalition, ChargEVC and Isles.

The ABCs of Electric School Buses

Learn Why Electric School Buses Are the Future. In this short video, Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter informs viewers of the benefits of Electric School buses and how school districts can get on board.

Grants, Rebates, and Tax Incentives

EPA Rebate Program is now open for applications through January 31, 2024

The application period for the second round of rebate funding is now open and will close on January 31, 2024. Information on how to apply for these grant and rebate funds is available on the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program website: Clean School Bus Program | US EPA

Specific information on eligibility and how to apply can be found at: EPA 2023 Rebate Summary

New Jersey Electric School Bus Program Expected to Begin Accepting Applications in January, 2024

On August 4, 2022, Governor Murphy signed Bill A1282/S759, the Electric School Bus Program Act. This bill was a high priority for the Sierra Club's Transportation Committee, and we provided many amendments that improved the bill. In its final form, the bill requires DEP to develop and implement an electric school bus program; provides for $15 million in the first year and $15 million annually in the subsequent two years to DEP, subject to availability, to provide grants to a minimum of 18 school districts throughout the state. Our amendments were also designed to encourage investments in different vendors and technology, and to require receiving districts to report operational metrics to NJDEP in order to help design future programs to replace the state's more than 10,000 diesel buses. 

Funding of the bill was delayed, but is expected to be in place before the end of 2023.

Districts and school bus contractors who are interested in applying for these grants should sign up to receive notifications of new funding cycles at New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (govdelivery.com)

The following documents provide more detailed information on these grants.

NJ Electric School Bus Program
Comparison of State v. Federal Grants

School Districts Are Now Eligible to Received Federal Tax Credits for Investing in Electric School 

Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, governmental agencies and tax-exempt organizations that buy a battery electric or fuel cell vehicle may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $40,000 (Internal Revenue Code 45W) even though they normally do not pay taxes. The credit equals the lesser of:

  • 15% of your basis in the vehicle (30% if the vehicle is not powered by gas or diesel), or
  • The incremental cost of the vehicle

The maximum credit is $7,500 for qualified vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) of under 14,000 pounds and $40,000 for all other vehicles. The IRS is still developing the appropriate forms to claim the credit, but purchases made in CY 2023 will be eligible to file for a credit in 2024. 

Click on these links to learn more about the credits and how to apply:

Register for elective payment or transfer of credits | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

AESB Fact Sheet - New Tax Credits & Direct Payment for School Districts - Google Docs

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act

Under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program EPA solicits applications from public agencies to replace the nation’s legacy diesel engine fleet. Eligible activities include the retrofit or replacement of existing diesel engines, vehicles, and equipment with certified engine configurations. verified retrofit and idle reduction technologies, or new zero emission vehicles such as Electric School Buses and other Class 5-8 heavy duty highway vehicles.

In contrast to other federal and state grant and rebate programs, diesel to electric repowers are eligible for funding. Also, since DERA was designed specifically to reduce diesel emissions, greater weight is given to applications that will reduce vehicular emissions in non-attainment air quality districts. Funds are specifically allocated for each EPA region, and similar to the Clean School Bus Program grant cycle, applicants must submit a detailed proposal which is evaluated competitively based on numerous criteria including the potential reduction in air quality pollutants.

The current funding cycle closes on December 1, 2023. Districts that are interested in learning about and applying for future DERA funding should sign up to receive DERA notices at this website: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency : Sign Up to Stay in Touch (constantcontact.com).

The Electric Bus Program Summarized