Zero-emission school buses to reduce costs and clean up the air

Zero-emission school buses to reduce costs and clean up the air


The Electric Vehicle (EV) School Bus project is an ambitious, innovative project currently underway in California. It is the largest EV school bus demonstration in the nation that to deploys Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology. The school buses are currently being repowered in Poway, CA by Transpower, USA and will be deployed in Torrance, Kings Canyon and Napa Valley. The first buses will be deployed in September 2015.

The goal of the project is to demonstrate that the total cost of ownership of all electric school buses is equal to or less than that of traditional diesel-powered school buses. The demonstration will also document the reduced costs of operating all electric school buses through lower fuel and maintenance costs. In addition to increased fuel economy, school districts will be empowered by the potential to generate revenue by supplying energy stored in the school buses batteries back to the utility grid when not transporting students. Ultimately, the electric school buses will reduce harmful emissions into the air we breathe.

The revenue generation component of the demonstration is realized by implementing new, but proven V2G technology and will be one of several technology projects to be tested during the project. Other areas to be studied include the all electric school buses performance characteristics, range of operation, and emissions reductions. Finally, the buses will have Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) technology, where the school buses can provide power to buildings or other facilities during a power outage or post disaster situation.

The project is a commitment of the Clinton Global Initiative – America (CGI- America) to assist in launching the market for zero emission, all electric school buses in North America. To date, the project has received funding from the Commissioners of the California Energy Commission and from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. California will lead to the development of six all electric school buses that will be deployed in Torrance Unified School District (TUSD), Kings Canyon USD and Napa Valley USD.

The project’s additional Commitment to Action partners are: PJM Interconnection, EY, NRG, Drive Oregon, EV Grid, The County of Los Angeles and Drive Oregon. The six buses for the California demonstration will be built by Transpower of Poway, CA.

Follow progress on Twitter @evschoolbus, learn more at and contact Kevin Matthews, Co-Project Director of the EV School Bus Demonstration project at kmatthews[at]nationalstrategies[dot]com.

By Kathy Kyle Bonomini

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