Carson City, Nev. — Today, the Assembly Growth & Infrastructure Committee heard Senate Bill 299, which would allow funds from the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration (EVID) program be used to help school districts cover 75% of the upfront cost of investing in electric school buses.  

Clean air and clean energy advocates testified in support of the bill, highlighting the pollution Nevada’s children are exposed to riding diesel school buses and the public health, environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles. Many supporters shared their or their children’s stories of struggling with breathing problems due to environmental pollution.

“Our children have the right to breathe clean air, and polluting school buses shouldn’t endanger them in their pursuit to acquire an education,” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director of Chispa Nevada. “We need an urgent transition to zero-emission, electric school buses. Chispa Nevada has collected more than 3,000 signatures from our members in support of clean buses, including 174 Nevadans who signed a petition just this past week asking legislators to pass Senate Bill 299. We ask the Assembly committee to act quickly in support of this bill.”

“Emissions from the transportation sector are the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in Nevada,” said Andy Maggi, Executive Director of the Nevada Conservation League. “Our health, economy and environment are all impacted by diesel toxins. This problem will continue to grow unless the Nevada Legislature paves the way for the adoption of electric vehicles. Electric school buses will help our state fight the effects of climate change while protecting Nevada’s public health and environment.”

“With SB299, we have an opportunity to make significant progress in clean energy and invest in the health of our youngest populations,” said Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress. “School districts across the country have already begun investing in electric buses and are seeing positive results in their daily operation, lower maintenance costs, and feedback from parents and students. Nevada should be a leader on this issue.”

“Communities of color have the highest rates of asthma and disproportionately live in communities with dirty air,” said Dr. Mary House, CEO of Caring, Helping and Restoring Lives. “This bill is crucial to the health of our communities and our children, and we urge the Assembly committee to support this potentially life-saving funding for electric school buses.”

“Electric buses are a great way to get kids to school,” said Travis Madsen, Transportation Program Director at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “Going electric will save school districts money, protect our health and reduce climate change. We strongly urge the Committee to support the passage of SB299 so that we can move forward on implementing an adequately funded electric school bus pilot project in Nevada.”

No one testified in opposition to the bill. SB299 is expected to be heard in a work session next, before being voted on by the full committee.