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December 19, 2013  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Push for electric school buses in Massachusetts


BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick and his administration are investing in three programs to support alternative fuel vehicles and related infrastructure across Massachusetts, including the launch of an electric school bus pilot program.

“The Patrick Administration is committed to deploying innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, bolster our energy independence and grow the commonwealth’s clean energy economy,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said. “These programs will help to accomplish our statewide goals while saving our municipalities and businesses money.”

Working in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative’s ongoing EV V2G School Bus Demonstration, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) will provide $1.8 million in grants for eight electric school buses with vehicle-to-grid capability.

“By taking this step, Massachusetts is joining the ranks of cutting-edge jurisdictions that recognize the important role EV school buses can play not only in cleaning up pupil transportation, but in the electrification of the broader transportation sector,” said Stephen H. Crolius, co-director, Vehicle to Grid Electric School Bus Project, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action.

Those interested in applying for the electric school bus program grants should contact Steve Russell at the DOER at [email protected] or (617) 626-7325.

The administration’s Clean Vehicle Project will also promote the adoption of electric vehicles in Massachusetts through publicly accessible charging stations and the goal of replacing or converting more than 200 public and private fleet vehicles currently powered by gasoline and diesel with vehicles fueled by natural gas, propane, electricity, solar electric and hybrid technologies.

The grant program, available to public and private fleets, will be administered by the DOER and funded with $11.7 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. DOER will solicit project proposals in the coming months.

An additional $2 million in funding is being invested in the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, operated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, for a second round of incentives for municipalities to acquire electric vehicles and install charging stations.

The first phase of grants for this program, totaling $555,000, were awarded to 20 municipalities across the state for the acquisition of 47 electric vehicles and the installation of 17 duel-head electric charging stations.

Other school bus-related news in Massachusetts:

4 school bus seat belt bills under review in Massachusetts

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