In first for Texas, Austin ISD commits to 100% electric buses

Media Contacts
Luke Metzger

Executive Director, Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

AUSTIN, Texas – The board of trustees of the Austin Independent School District (AISD) unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday night committing the district to convert its bus fleet from diesel to electric by 2035. AISD is the first Texas school district to make such a commitment, joining Boston, New York and other districts around the U.S., to pledge to 100% electric buses. 

“We applaud AISD for prioritizing the health of our children and the sustainability of our planet,” said Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. “By going electric, the motors on the bus will be clean, clean, clean.”

The resolution recognized that “schools can safeguard children from the harmful effects of diesel school bus pollution by establishing electric school bus fleets” and that funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other federal and state programs allow school districts to obtain electric school buses and immediately reduce operational costs.

The board adopted a transition plan to adopt zero-emission school bus fleets. Starting next year, 25% of new school bus purchases are to be EVs; by 2027, 50% of new school bus purchases are to be EV; by 2030, 100% of new school bus purchases are to be EVs; and by 2035, the entire fleet will be electric. 

In August, more than two dozen elected officials, environmental, health and school leaders wrote the AISD trustees, calling on the district to commit to replacing AISD’s fleet of more than 500 diesel-fueled school buses with clean, electric buses. U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett, Austin Mayor Adler and others wrote: “we are very concerned with the daily exposure of our children to toxic diesel exhaust.”  The officials urged the district to set aside funds in the upcoming bond to help pay for the transition to an all electric fleet. AISD’s proposed bond, on the November ballot, does set aside funds to assist with the purchase of the first batch of electric buses.

Austin has long been considered a leader on health and environmental issues in the state, and electric school buses offer an opportunity for AISD to take the lead in protecting our environment, economic interests and the health of our school children,” said Shelley Livaudais, communications manager of the TexPIRG Education Fund. 

While AISD became the first Texas school district to commit to 100% electric buses, in 2020, Everman Independent School District near Fort Worth had become the first in Texas to purchase electric buses. The EPA is expected to soon announce the recipients of the first $1 billion in rebates for school districts around the U.S. for electric and cleaner school buses. The IIJA includes a total of $5 billion for electric and low-emission school buses and the IRA includes an additional $1 billion for medium- and heavy-duty commercial electric vehicles, including school buses.


Environment Texas Research and Policy Center works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife, open spaces and a livable climate. 

With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing their own narrow agendas, TexPIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that works on behalf of the public interest. TexPIRG Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer meaningful opportunities for civic participation.