WEST FARGO, N.D. — A school district here recently received funding for its first electric-powered school bus.
In a Nov. 13 meeting, the West Fargo Public Schools board of directors awarded $314,200 in funding to Hartley’s School Buses Inc. for the purchase of one Blue Bird electric school bus. The purchase will mark the first all-electric school bus for both the district and the state, according to a news release from the district.
In addition, the district received support from regional agencies to help fund the electric school bus project. The North Dakota Department of Commerce provided $70,000 in funding through the state's energy program, while the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future and the Cass County Electric — in conjunction with Minnkota Power Cooperative — each provided $40,000 in funding.
“The Coalition for a Secure Energy Future is proud to partner with West Fargo Public Schools and our industry supporters to purchase the state’s first electric-powered school bus,” said Joel Johnson, director for the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future. “The new bus will be powered by North Dakota’s homegrown energy of which two-thirds is clean lignite coal. Advancing electric vehicles is a crucial initiative to help grow the region’s economy.”
With the purchase of the new electric bus, the district anticipates an annual savings of $2,500 in diesel costs and $1,800 in maintenance costs, according to the news release.
The school district will also compare the costs of the electric bus to two diesel-powered school buses that will be put into service at the same time. A long-term analysis of the operational and maintenance costs of the electric bus will provide the district with data to assist future school bus purchasing decisions, according to the news release.
For more information about the district’s electric bus, go here.