The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) is pleased to announce our collaboration with the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Electric School Bus Initiative, supported by the Bezos Earth Fund. In this project, CTE will provide three school districts with technical plans to transition their school bus fleets to electric school buses (ESB).
CTE will conduct the technical analysis for each transition plan, leveraging its decades of electric vehicle experience and using its industry leading fleet transition planning methodology. CTE and WRI will collect data specific to each school district’s unique student transportation operations and will use this data to develop the transition plans. These plans will provide step-by-step instructions on how to transition each school bus fleet to zero emissions. CTE’s ESB transition planning methodology is informed by the more than 35 zero-emission fleet transition planning projects that the nonprofit has led in support of transit, school, and municipal fleets across the country.
CTE and WRI will work together to select and engage three school districts as partners in this effort. Transitioning school buses to zero-emission technologies not only contributes to combating climate change and reducing local pollution, but it also has significant implications for children’s health and environmental justice. With this in mind, CTE and WRI will prioritize partnerships with school districts that serve environmental justice zones and/or disadvantaged communities. Each of the selected school districts will receive a full ESB transition plan at no cost to the district.
As large-scale public funding begins to flow into the emerging electric school bus market, partnerships that provide unbiased technical support, modeling, and planning to support school districts across the United States will be critically important. Fleet electrification is complicated and requires a myriad of decisions around route planning, charging strategy, equipment selection, infrastructure development, resource management, and more. Programs like the Electric School Bus Initiative provide education and understanding to all stakeholders, including local district planners, school bus drivers, and the community at large, giving them confidence to make future deployments independently and ensure our nation’s transition to electric school buses is successful.