WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Commissioners of the California Energy Commission on Tuesday approved a grant to National Strategies LLC (NSI) for $1.4 million for an all electric school bus demonstration program in California, the largest EV school bus demonstration in the nation and the first to deploy Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, according to NSI.  

The demonstration is part of a Clinton Global Initiative–America Commitment to Action to assist in launching the market for zero emission, all electric school buses in the U.S. Coupled with a previously awarded grant to NSI from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the total of $2.2 million in California will lead to the development of six all electric school buses that will be deployed in Torrance Unified School District, Kings Canyon Unified School District and Napa Valley Unified School District.

“We are very pleased to have received this award from the California Energy Commission and thank them and the South Coast Air Quality Management District for their support,” Kevin Matthews, managing director for NSI, and co-project director of the EV School Bus Demonstration project, said. “This is the largest demonstration of zero emission school buses in the country and the first to utilize V2G technology to aid in reducing student transportation costs. We are looking forward to working with all of the project participants in California to demonstrate that all electric, zero emission school buses can deliver students safely and cost effectively in school districts across California and the U.S. The project will show that we can remove children from diesel emissions and improve air quality while simultaneously reducing the cost of student transportation and supporting the utility grid.”

The goal of the project is to demonstrate and document 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 document the reduced costs of operating all electric school buses through lower fuel and maintenance costs, the potential to generate revenue by supplying energy stored in the school buses’ batteries back to the utility grid when not transporting students, as well the reduction of harmful emissions into the air. The revenue generation component of the demonstration is done by new, but proven technology known as V2G and will be one of several technology projects to be tested during the demonstration.  

Other areas to be studied include: the all electric school buses’ performance characteristics, range of operation, emissions reductions and Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) technology, in which the school buses can provide power to buildings or other facilities during a power outage or post-disaster situation.

The project’s additional Commitment to Action partners are:
•    PJM Interconnection
•    Ernst & Young
•    NRG
•    Drive Oregon
•    The County of Los Angeles

The six buses for the California demonstration will be built by Transpower of Poway, California.