NY School Bus Incentive Program Overview
In the April 2022 budget passed by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Hochul, the State established a deadline for the transition to zero-emission buses. Specifically, all school buses purchased by 2027 must be zero-emission buses, with the entire fleet transitioned to zero emission by 2035. In 2022, voters across NYS overwhelming voted for the Clean Air, Clean Water and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act (Bond Act) which includes $500M to support the transition to zero-emission school buses. NYSERDA has established the NY School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP) to achieve these State public purposes and assist school districts in meeting the zero-emission bus timelines.
NYSBIP is a voucher incentive program which will accelerate the deployment of zero-emission school buses and charging infrastructures throughout New York State. Zero-emission school buses include both electric school buses (also referred to as ESBs) and hydrogen fuel cell school buses. An initial total of $100M is available to fund the acquisition of new ESBs and charging infrastructure costs. School Bus Voucher Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis beginning November 29, 2023 - however, there are caps on the number of buses for which any one fleet can receive funding and funds will not be immediately exhausted. Charging Voucher rules and documents are available now for review and preparation prior to applications being accepted. For more information about program eligibility and rules, consult the NYSBIP Implementation Manual [PDF].
November 29, 2023: NYSERDA is now accepting School Bus Voucher Applications on a first-come, first-serve basis - subject to per fleet caps. To submit a School Bus Voucher Application, Purchasers must use the Eligible ESB List [XLSX], to determine which ESB(s) they would like to purchase and which Eligible Dealer they would like to work with to apply. The Dealer will then submit a School Bus Voucher Application through the NYSERDA Portal for approval. Once approved, Dealers can sell the ESB(s) to the Purchaser with the School Bus Voucher amount discounted from the final purchase price. When the ESB(s) is paid for and delivered, the Dealer will return to the Contractor Portal and submit documentation for School Bus Voucher Redemption. Once approved, NYSERDA will send the voucher funds to the Dealer. For more information about the School Bus Voucher rules and process, refer to the NYSBIP Implementation Manual [PDF]. Please note that the eligible ESB list will be updated with additional ESBs and Dealers regularly and is not final.
Charging Voucher Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, beginning early 2024. Program documents are available now for review and preparation prior to applications being accepted. For more information about program eligibility and rules, consult the NYSBIP Implementation Manual [PDF].
November 17, 2023 - NYSERDA is accepting Dealer Applications. To participate in NYSBIP, eligible ESB Dealers must submit a Dealer Application through the online Contractor Portal . Once approved, Dealers will be listed on the NYSBIP Eligible ESB List [xlsx].
September 28, 2023 - NYSERDA is accepting ESB Eligibility Applications [XLSX] from vehicle manufacturers and modifiers. To participate in NYSBIP, vehicle manufacturers and modifiers must apply to have their vehicles listed for voucher eligibility by submitting a Vehicle Eligibility Application to the Voucher Help Center (VHC) at [email protected]. Once a vehicle has been approved, the information will be added to the NYSBIP Eligible ESB List and posted on the NYSBIP website, where fleets will be able to identify the ESB models and technologies that best suit their needs.
In addition to this funding support, the New York State Electric School Bus Roadmap and Electric School Bus Guidebook serve as resources to help New York public school districts' transition bus fleets to zero-emission. These documents provide school districts and bus operators with the technical assistance and financial guidance necessary to remove fossil fuel vehicles from service and help reduce transportation emissions. Both the Roadmap and Guidebook pinpoint critical factors and decisions that school districts and bus operators face when considering zero-emission buses. Additionally, NYSERDA and the utility providers who cover the majority of the State’s school districts provide technical assistance to support school districts and fleet operators plan for the transition.
School Bus Vouchers
School Bus Voucher Base Amounts
The base voucher amounts for NYSBIP intend to cover a large percentage of the incremental cost of a new or repowered zero-emission school bus. Voucher amounts are categorized by type of bus (e.g., Type A, Type C, Type D) and by whether the bus is purchased new or if it is an existing bus that is being repowered.
|School Bus Type||Percentage of Incremental Cost Covered||Base Voucher Dollar Amount|
|New Type A (NTA)||60%||$114,000|
|New Type C (NTC)||60%||$147,000|
|New Type D (NTD)||60%||$156,000|
|Repowered Type A (RTA)||75%||$105,000|
|Repowered Type C (RTC)||75%||$135,000|
School Bus Voucher Bonuses and Complementary Add-On Amounts
School Bus Voucher Bonuses
Voucher amounts can be increased through two additional bonuses by meeting additional criteria:
- Buses serving a Priority District
- a. Priority Districts include SED-designated High Need/Resource Capacity districts and districts that serve Disadvantaged Communities (DACs). This bonus will also apply for school buses that are stored in an existing depot that is situated in a DAC. To find out if your school district is considered a Priority District, see the Priority Districts List [doc].
- a. Scrapping is verifiably rendering inoperable an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle with an engine dated 7 years or older than the year of application by cutting a three-inch hole in the engine block and disabling the chassis by cutting the vehicle's frame rails completely in half.
Complementary School Bus Voucher Add-Ons
In addition to the bonus amounts, two additional ‘add-ons’ are available for Purchasers that request specialized equipment be installed on their vehicle. The amounts are intended to help cover the additional expenses associated with these vehicle modifications:
|School Bus Type||Priority District Bonus Amount||Scrappage Bonus Amount||V2G Add-On Amount||Wheelchair Add-On Amount|
In terms of ownership, the following Fleets may apply to NYSBIP:
- New York State public school districts or other public entities that provide pupil transportation services;
- Third-party Operators under contract with a New York State public school district.
Applicants interested in purchasing an electric school bus (ESB) or hydrogen fuel cell electric bus can select from the below list of eligible school bus models and purchase through an eligible Dealer.
Charging Voucher Amounts
The base Charging Voucher amounts are intended to cover all or most of the cost of a low-voltage (e.g., Level 2) Charger, customer-side Make-Ready equipment, and installation costs. Charging Voucher amounts are determined by Priority District status, and whether the Purchaser has conducted a Fleet Electrification Plan. It is recommended that Purchasers of chargers complete a Fleet Electrification Plan to identify charging needs before applying to NYSBIP to ensure the fleet is purchasing and installing appropriate charger(s) for their needs and there is enough power for the chosen solution. Refer to the NYSBIP Implementation Manual [PDF] for more information.
|Base Voucher Amount||With Fleet Electrification Plan|
Eligible Charging Costs
The following list contains charging infrastructure and installation costs eligible for reimbursement with the NYSBIP Charging Voucher:
- Charger hardware costs
- Charger Installation costs associated with Charger hardware costs including, but not limited to, trenching, concrete pads, repaving, and, basic site restoration.
Customer-Side “Make-Ready” Infrastructure costs, which covers electrical site upgrades on the customer’s side of the electrical meter. This includes, but is not limited to, upgrades to switchgears, electrical panel upgrades, wiring, and conduit.
- Battery Storage Equipment that is connected to Charger
NYSBIP will not cover the following infrastructure costs:
- Networking costs
- Extended warranties
- Permitting fees
- Project management costs
- Utility-Side “Make-Ready” Infrastructure costs
- Solar PV
- Program Implementation Manual (updated November 2023) [PDF]: All participants are encouraged to review the NYSBIP Implementation Manual, which details in full the program structure, eligibility requirements, and operational steps involved in the program.
- ESB Eligibility Application [XLSX]: Manufacturers (OEMs or upfit/retrofit manufacturers) complete and submit this application form via email to [email protected] to request eligibility for vehicles they produce and that meet program requirements (see Program Implementation Manual [PDF]).
- NYSBIP Eligible ESB List [xlsx]: Purchasers can review ESBs that are eligible to receive a School Bus Voucher and can see which Eligible Dealer sell those ESBs.
- Contractor Portal : Dealers can become an Eligible Dealer for NYSBIP by applying through this portal and submitting the OEM Letter of Consent and Dealer Participation Agreement.
- NYSERDA Portal : Dealers can submit School Bus Voucher Applications through this portal.
- OEM Letter of Consent [PDF]: Dealer provides documentation to demonstrate that they are an authorized third-party vendor of eligible school buses manufactured by an OEM or URM.
- Dealer Participation Agreement [PDF]: Dealers agree to the requirements laid out in this document, which serves as a contract to indicating what rights the Dealer and NYSERDA have with respect to projects funded through NYSBIP.
- Purchaser Participation Agreement [PDF]: Purchasers agree to the requirements of participation in NYSBIP for a School Bus Voucher.
- Third-Party Operator Addendum [PDF]: Addendum to be added to the contract between a Third-Party Operator and a School District that formalizes the agreement to use Bond Act funds to purchase electric buses to be used under the contract.
- Scrappage Attestation [PDF]: Vehicle Dismantler's and Purchaser’s certification that the requirements for scrapping an approved school bus were followed.
- Charging Infrastructure Purchaser Agreement [PDF]: Purchasers agree to the requirements of participation in NYSBIP for a Charging Voucher.
- Charging Infrastructure Installer Certification [PDF]: Purchasers and Installers certify that charging infrastructure was installed correctly and that the Installer has been paid for their work.