InCharge Energy worked closely with the school district and Creative Bus Sales to generate...

InCharge Energy worked closely with the school district and Creative Bus Sales to generate grants and incentives for the project.

Photo: InCharge Energy

The Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD), serving 31,000 students in 42 schools in southern California, has approved a project from InCharge Energy, IC Bus, and Creative Bus Sales to deploy 42 electric school buses and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Once complete, it is expected to be the largest operating electrified school bus fleet in California.

"This electric bus project is vital to our students' futures and it would not have been possible without the help of InCharge Energy, Creative Bus Sales and IC Bus," said Jim Burleson, the school district’s transportation director. "We know children on school buses are exposed to five times more atmospheric pollutants, which puts them at risk of quite a few health conditions over time. We need initiatives like this to protect our children now and to ensure future generations thrive in a healthy environment."

This electrified school bus fleet will have substantial benefits for the Moreno Valley community. First, the quieter electric buses will reduce noise pollution and provide a safer transportation option for all students, especially for special needs and medically fragile students. Second, the vehicles drive more smoothly for students due to its continuous drivetrain and quiet operation. Third, bus drivers can better serve their passengers in the virtually silent vehicles. Fourth, the new electric buses will reduce more than 1.2 million pounds in carbon emissions across the Moreno Valley, which has an "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" rating on the Air Quality Index. Finally, the school district expects 75% cost savings on bus maintenance, fuel, and operations, allowing more funding to go to classrooms.

This initiative represents the largest electric school bus purchase in California. IC Bus and Creative Bus Sales will supply the school district with 42-passenger electric buses while InCharge Energy will install and maintain 43 ABB TERRA 24 kW DC fast chargers. InCharge Energy will begin work on the EV charging infrastructure in April. The school district expects to be driving students in all 42 buses by the start of the new school year.

InCharge Energy worked closely with MVUSD and Creative Bus Sales to generate grants and incentives from the federal government, the state of California, and Southern California Edison, which bolstered the school district's commitment to this electrification project. The two companies secured vouchers from California's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) for vehicles, hardware, and installation. The school district also received funds from California's Carl Moyer program and partnered with the South Coast Air Quality Management District for a US EPA Airshed Grant. Southern California Edison will provide funding support from its Charge Ready program for necessary utility upgrades, EV chargers and their installation.

"We're excited to partner with MVUSD and many other industries and school districts on large-scale electrification projects like this, which will help solve some of the social inequalities and community health challenges that result from our current high-polluting transportation model," said Terry O'Day, chief operating officer of InCharge Energy. "With this school bus fleet transition for Moreno Valley, we hope other school districts see the positive impacts on the community and start the process to electrify their own bus fleets. There are plenty of resources to help school districts begin this journey – and save money from the outset."

Thinking Electric? Check Out This Episode of The Route: Yellow Bus, Green Ambition

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