Electric School Buses: The Opportunity for Illinois

The World Resources Institute and the Electrification Coalition hosted a roundtable discussion on the wide-ranging benefits of electric school buses and Illinois’ opportunities to accelerate their deployment.

Electric School Buses: The Opportunity for Illinois featured public-sector leaders, industry experts, EV advocates, and school district representatives. 

Participants engaged directly with experts on the latest policy, funding, and technology developments to chart Illinois’ electric school bus future.

View the agenda, with links to presentations, below. 

Read our speaker bios.

We welcomed Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell, who shared his views on the importance of transitioning Illinois’ school bus fleets to EVs and discussed how state and federal programs are paving the road ahead. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin addressed the group via pre-recorded remarks.

School bus electrification will improve health and academic outcomes for students, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen grid security, and expand the green economy. A transition to electric school buses also yields cost savings for fleets. 

View the agenda, with links to presentations, below. 


Welcome and What to Expect

  • Aaron Viles, Director of Campaigns, Electrification Coalition

Why We Need Big Yellow to Go Green

  • Katrina McLaughlin, Clean Energy Associate, World Resources Institute

How ESBs Can Help Address Health and Environmental Injustices

  • Dr. Louise Giles, Pediatric Pulmonologist, University of Chicago

How the Federal Government is Leading the Transition; IIJA ESBs and the Inflation Reduction Act

  • Senator Dick Durbin (pre-recorded remarks)

The State of the State & the Vision for ESBs in Illinois 

  • Julie Armitage, Chief, Bureau of Air, Illinois EPA
  • Lisa Clemmons Stott, eMobility and Innovation Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Megha Lakhchaura, Moderator, Illinois Electric Vehicle Officer
  • Robert Wolfe, Finance Officer, Illinois State Board of Education

Views on ESBs from the Legislature

  • State Senator Cristina Castro
  • State Representative Robyn Gabel
  • David McEllis, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Remarks from Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell

EPA’s Clean School Bus Program (View presentation)

  • Anthony Maietta, Environmental Protection Agency

Utility & School District Panel

  • Dr. Lyndl Schuster, Moderator, River Trails SD, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services/CSBO
  • Philip Roy, ComEd, Director External Affairs
  • Dr. Ilandus Hampton, Joliet Township HSD 204, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services (View presentation)
  • Chad Jones, Hollis Consolidated SD, Superintendent
  • Haj Young, IEC Powered by Future Green, Associate Manager (View presentation)
  • Terri Aman, Kalamazoo School District (MI), Transportation Director 

Lunch and Break

Video: Deploying Electric School Buses in Zeeland, Michigan

Fleet Electrification Solutions With Impact In Illinois (View presentation)

  • Maggie Clancy, Chief Commercial Officer, Levo Mobility
  • Steve Letendre, PhD, Director of Policy, Nuvve

ESBs and the Private Sector – Corporate Concerns and Opportunities

  • Nate A. Baguio, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development – USA, Lion Electric (View presentation)
  • Steve Kelley, Chief Commercial Officer, InCharge
  • Kelly White, EV Director, Navistar (View presentation)
  • Joshua Williams, Midwest Regional Manager, Market Development, Highland Electric (View presentation)

Participatory Session: ESBs in IL: Accelerating Adoption via Regional Networks, Break Out Session

  • Susan  Mudd, Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center

  • Amanda Pankau, Energy Campaign Coordinator, Prairie Rivers Network, Illinois Affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation


View recordings, speakers slides, and other resources from previous electric school bus roundtables:

Amy Malaki

Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.