Six Blue Bird electric school buses rolled out for Escondido Union (Calif.) High School District on Wednesday.
The buses (the district’s first electric school buses) made their debut at the Escondido High School transit yard. They’ll replace diesel-powered buses that are currently in service, and they’ll carry students to and from school, on field trips, and for other transportation needs.
The new buses represent about 30 percent of the district’s school bus fleet. Construction breaks ground in October on a new charging station. Until that comes online, the district will use temporary chargers for the electric buses.
According to the American School Bus Council, electric buses:
- Reduce emissions by up to 100 percent
- Save up to 60 percent in fuel costs compared to diesel
- Reduce maintenance costs by 50 percent
- Reduce noise pollution
Funds from the California Energy Commission’s School Bus Replacement Program paid for two of the buses. The other four were bought with a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The state of California has mandated that 60 percent of school bus fleets achieve energy efficiency by 2040.
In an interview with The Times of San Diego, the district’s transportation director, Linda Rendon said: “We are excited to be ahead of that schedule and are already looking at ways to fund additional electrical buses for our district.”