Statement: Governor Newsom signs electric school bus bill

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Sunday AB 579, which should improve the health of children by promoting statewide adoption of electric school buses. Specifically, the bill establishes a goal for all new school bus purchases in California to be zero-emission by 2035. 

Currently, the majority of California’s 24,000 school buses run on diesel, a fossil fuel that increases global warming emissions and has been linked to several serious health conditions, including increased rates of respiratory illness and cancer. The risks are especially pronounced in children and have also been linked to poor academic performance.

But electric school buses offer a viable solution. Not only are electric school buses emission-free and better for the environment, but also they can save school districts money in the long run with reduced maintenance and fuel costs. Electric school buses can also contribute to power grid resiliency with vehicle-to-grid technology.

CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom responded with the following statement:

“With the governor’s signature, California’s children — and their families — can breathe a little bit easier moving forward. Our children’s commute to school never should have come with a daily dose of toxic pollution. Now, California is on the path to ensure our kids have a clean ride to school, with a state commitment to 100% electric school buses. Electric school buses are healthier, better for the environment and can save schools money in the long run.  We thank Assemblymember Phil Ting for his leadership and Governor Newsom for signing this important legislation for a healthier school transportation system.”

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