As the quantity of electric vehicles around the country grows, EVs are getting into categories further than simply little cars. A number of places, significantly in California, have been experimenting with electric city buses, and some of the school districts have begun purchasing electric buses to ferry students around.
The problem with electric buses is the up-front price: A typical electric bus will cost multiple times more than a traditional diesel bus. This hurts school districts looking to travel green because, of course, most America school districts are continuously lacking for cash. However, one New York town is obtaining electric school buses due to a curious arrangement with the native power company.
The school district in White Plains has purchased 5 electric buses thanks to the money from local utility Consolidated Edison. In return, Con Ed gets to use the buses throughout the summer once school is out. Then, the buses are plugged into the local electric grid, where they’ll be used to store surplus electricity and discharge it once it’s required most.
This arrangement saved the school district $100,000 per bus, a bit less than a third of the overall price. A state grant covered about half of the remaining price, letting the district purchase the buses for about a similar amount of cash as a regular diesel bus. The advantage to the district and to the kids who need to be passengers on those buses is cleaner air and a quieter ride.
The White Plains deal can be a model for other school districts trying to buy some electric buses. And with school districts buying a lot of buses, the price per bus can possibly go down. There’s a decent chance we are able to begin seeing this arrangement play out all over the country, and quieter, cleaner, a lot more environmentally friendly buses could become the norm for bringing our nation’s kids to school.