Five new electric school buses joined Alexandria City (Va.) Public Schools' 118-vehicle fleet, purchased through the Dominion Energy Electric School Bus Program.
The Dominion Energy program also provided the batteries and charging stations needed to operate the five buses, which the district reported that it bought for the same price as diesel models.
"I want to commend the ACPS transportation and facilities and operations teams for all of their hard work to bring electric buses to our school division," said Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. "I'm excited about the partnership behind this initiative, and thank Dominion Energy and all whose support made this possible. We continually seek ways to support our students, and these new buses will help our students get to school safely while protecting our environment."
Scott Merriman, ACPS director of pupil transportation and fleet management, said the electric buses are energy efficient and cost effective, "and reflect our school division's interest in environmentally friendly operations."
Replacing one diesel bus with an electric bus is equivalent to removing 5.2 cars from the road each year, according to an ACPS news release. The Jouley's operating range is 134 miles, easily enough to cover a typical daily bus route without requiring a midday recharge. The nominal charge time is between two to three hours with a DC-charging station. The Alexandria district, which serves more than 15,400 students, received three Proterra charging stations with five dispensers. The buses also are equipped with "vehicle-to-grid" (V2G) technology that allows them to serve as a grid resource.
"Electric school buses are an innovative and sustainable solution that help reduce emissions, protect children's health, and reduce costs for school divisions, all while making the grid stronger," said Charlene Whitfield, Dominion Energy's senior vice president of power delivery. "We're thrilled to see these buses on the road transporting students in Alexandria."