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Biden Admin Pumps Hundreds Of Millions Into Buses Prone To Catching Fire

The Biden administration is poised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize the purchase of electric school buses despite the tendency of e-buses to catch fire.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made an additional $500 million available to help rebate recipients to transform their school bus fleets from diesel to electric, a round of funding that builds upon an earlier $1 billion made available via the program, the EPA announced Thursday. Several electric buses have caught fire across the country in recent months, a trend mostly attributable to malfunctions in their lithium-ion batteries, according to the Institute for Energy Research.

“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, more students, teachers, and staff are breathing easier this school year as brand-new clean school buses are hitting the road in communities across America,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. “We’ve seen incredible demand for this program from school districts that want to benefit from the transition to cleaner school buses, leading to cost savings for districts, better air quality and less pollution.”

Electric buses have burst into flames due to battery malfunctions in Wichita, Kansas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, San Jose, California, and Hamden, Connecticut, since July 2022, according to local reports. The Hamden e-bus fire resulted in a decision to pull the city’s entire e-bus fleet off the roads after it had received praise from Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Sen. Chris Murphy.

Electric school buses cost about $400,000, while diesel school buses cost about $200,000, according to Electrek.

In addition to helping cover the costs of the e-buses, the funding will also be for building infrastructure and workforce development costs, according to the EPA.

The White House and EPA did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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