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New York City School Buses to Go Electric

For fans of electric school buses and other electric vehicle initiatives, there's big news to celebrate coming out of New York City. Recently, the mayor of NYC, Bill De Blasio, signed an executive order which mandates that all NYC government fleet vehicles be electric by 2040 - and that includes the school bus fleets.

Virginia Funds Electric School Bus Initiative

In the field of alt-energy school bus designs, electric school buses have lagged behind many of the competitors such as propane or natural gas. Until recently, electric buses had been seen as too under-powered and too short-ranged to be effective as student transport, but now multiple viable models have begun to enter the market.

Now, Virginia has become one of the first states to make a significant push towards the adoption of electric buses within their borders with a pledge of $20 million in funding - and it's with the indirect help of Volkswagen.

California Energy Commission Approves Funding for Over 200 Electric School Buses

Slowly but surely, states and districts across the country are moving away from diesel and towards alternative fuel sources. For years, it seemed like the best choices were either compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane - but these are still forms of fossil fuels, and therefore only a mild improvement over gasoline or diesel. Now, it seems like electric school buses are finally coming to be seen as a possibility.

The Pros and Cons of Electric School Buses

The push to embrace alt-fuels in school bus fleets continues unabated, complete with both the Federal government, and many states, offering incentives to move away from gas or diesel. Previously, the conversation about alt-fuel buses mainly revolved around propane vs Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), while electric school buses rarely received much interest.

However, this is starting to change. While, in the past, electric buses were generally considered to be too under-powered to be viable, new generations of electric engines have arrived which are capable of generating more than enough horsepower. Likewise, every year sees increases in battery capacity, allowing electric buses to run all but the largest of routes.

Washington School District Buys Electric School Bus

 

Just a few years ago, electric school buses were thought to be a pie-in-the-sky concept. There were numerous technical challenges to overcome, with the biggest issue being the matter of pure power. Electrical engines just weren't able to produce enough horsepower to get a bus moving at safe speeds.

Now, things are starting to change. Blue Bird buses has introduced a line of electric school buses that are turning heads - and opening up checkbooks. The latest school district to embrace electric buses is Franklin Pierce School District (FPSD) in Washington. Does their new purchase indicate a shift in attitudes?


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