Currently, fewer than 1% of the nation’s school buses are powered by electricity, but with advances in electric bus technology, growing understanding of the benefits of electrification, and now a fresh influx of federal money through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, electric school buses are becoming an increasingly viable option for school districts. Electric school bus models are now available to meet every use case, and the number of districts that have committed to electric school bus adoption, or have drawn up plans to do so, is growing.
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U.S. electric utilities are poised to be a key part of the momentum to shift American school buses from diesel fuel to electricity. Federal and state-level investments, along with other funding and financing opportunities, promise to accelerate the transition, bringing health, climate and economic benefits to more communities across the country.
Electric school buses are finally rolling out and are directly impacting the air quality children breathe each day. Recently, there have been several announcements regarding EV school buses. Some of these include studies backing their benefits and orders deploying hundreds of them across the nation.
School buses driving on their routes achieve about six miles per gallon, making them among the least efficient vehicles on the road. This inefficiency is a function of their short and congested routes, their consistent stopping and starting, and their lengthy periods of idling. All of these factors, along with their diesel power plants, also contribute to their releasing more emissions than most vehicles.
New York City has committed to going all-electric with its school buses by 2035. The first electric school buses are hitting the city’s streets now and they are pioneering a new model for transitioning their fleet. Instead of buying buses, Logan Bus Company, one of dozens of contractors that provides transportation services for the city, is instead converting five older diesel buses to electric.
If your district is thinking about adding electric vehicles (EVs) to your school bus fleet, don’t let outdated fears hold you back! Electric buses have come a long way in the last decade, from being impractical to being entirely capable of serving a school district’s needs.
Lion Electric receives conditional PO for 1,000 electric school buses, the largest fleet in North America
Medium and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer Lion Electric Co. recently announced a conditional purchase order from Student Transportation of Canada (STC) for 1,000 of its all-electric Lion C school buses. The PO is dependent upon a grant of non-repayable contributions to STC under Canada’s Zero-Emission Transit Fund (ZETF). If approved, STC would become the largest operator of zero-emission buses in all of North America.
Boston mayoral candidate and city councilor Michelle Wu said Sunday that fighting climate change would be a priority for her, calling for measures to convert the city’s school bus fleet to electric power.
Transitioning to electric vehicles is critical to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and clog our skies with toxic pollution. Investing in electric vehicle infrastructure and technologies will also be essential to make the U.S. competitive in the growing electric vehicle market.
Some school districts are replacing diesel buses with electric models to benefit students and the environment. But the change is expensive so utilities like Dominion Energy are helping offset the cost.