FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2022
Amber King, Drive Clean Colorado
[email protected] | 785-543-7082
Dave Reed, Clean Energy Economy for the Region
[email protected] | 970-366-8766
Free Technical Training Available to School Districts for School Bus Electrification
Drive Clean Colorado and CLEER Awarded Grant from World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus Initiative to provide support for school districts
[DENVER, CO] – Drive Clean Colorado and Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER), are pleased to announce that funding for technical training and coaching to support school bus electrification (ESB) is now available for Colorado school districts.
The organizations have been awarded $65,000 grant by World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Electric School Bus Initiative, supported by the Bezos Earth Fund. The funding enables CLEER and DCC to partner with underserved and overburdened school districts around Colorado to deliver a series of in-person electric school bus (ESB) workshops and one-on-one coaching opportunities designed to meet the needs of the individual bus fleets. These workshops and coaching sessions are set to occur in late summer and fall of 2022.
The workshops will provide administrators, fleet managers and school bus drivers with the technical training needed to navigate the complex process of electrification and technology adoption. Discussions will cover the multifaceted issues of electrification, such as integrating ESBs into rural school bus routes, new maintenance standards, charging infrastructure needs and more.
While not all districts will be ready for workshops, one-on-one coaching will also be available throughout the next year to help school districts plan for ESB adoption in the future.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to work side by side with school districts in Colorado to accelerate the adoption of clean school buses that will help districts save money and reduce harmful pollution,” said Bonnie Trowbridge, Executive Director of Drive Clean Colorado. “We’re grateful to WRI for investing in our state and excited to partner with CLEER to provide the technical expertise and coaching to school districts and communities that will benefit from clean buses for the long term.”
“CLEER is proud to be a partner of WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative,” said Stefan Johnson of CLEER. “This is a great opportunity for districts around the state but we realize it will be a long-term process. Not all districts are ready to go all in on electrification as it is a complex undertaking with many elements at play, but this grant will meet districts where they are and help develop an ESB strategy that works for them now and in the future.”
World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative aims to create unstoppable momentum over the next five years on a path toward electrifying the entire fleet of U.S. school buses by 2030.
“We are delighted that Drive Clean Colorado and CLEER are partnering to support and expand the technical capacity of underserved districts in Colorado on their school bus electrification journeys,” said Brittany Barrett of WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative. “With this technical assistance, Colorado’s $65 million electric school bus commitment, and the $500 million currently available from the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, there has never been a better time for school districts to bring the many benefits of electric school buses to their communities.”
The United States’ 480,000 school buses account for 80% of all buses nationwide, yet fewer than 1% are electrified. A concerted effort to electrify all U.S. school buses would reduce their annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all buses in the country by almost 50%. This could create a tipping point for decarbonizing the entire U.S. transportation sector – which is responsible for almost 30% of the nation’s GHG emissions.
Exhaust from diesel school buses has been linked to serious health issues in students, including cognitive development issues, disproportionately affecting children from low-income communities and communities of color.
Electric school buses can also reduce operating expenses for school districts grappling with rising gas prices, create new jobs in green manufacturing and generate valuable storage for renewable energy via vehicle-to-grid technologies. Communities benefit from safer and quieter streets and cleaner air. These impacts will be particularly important in high-pollution corridors where underserved communities are disproportionately exposed to health risks.
About Drive Clean Colorado, a Clean Cities Coalition
Drive Clean Colorado (formerly Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition) is a non-profit member organization that delivers a variety of programs to support equitable clean transportation and efficient mobility choices with the goal of reducing greenhouse gases for cleaner, healthier air for Colorado. Drive Clean Colorado is one of 75 unique Department of Energy Clean Cities coalitions across the U.S. that work locally to foster the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security and advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and fuel-saving technologies and practices. Learn more at DriveCleanColorado.org, and follow along on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Clean Energy Economy for the Region is a Carbondale-based nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, increase energy independence, and reduce our contribution to climate change. CLEER develops and implements programs designed to drive the necessary annual progress toward local governments’ and utilities’ long-term climate and clean-energy goals while maximizing economic opportunity and equity. CLEER’s work is focused on three broad areas: expanding renewable energy, decarbonizing transportation and maximizing resource efficiency in buildings and industry.
About World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. WRI is working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet. If interested in learning more about WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative, please visit wri.org/electric-school-buses.