School Districts Nationwide To Start Using Electric School Buses?

By Tiffany Velasquez | Published

Electric school buses

There are currently 2.3 million electric cars on the roads in the United States, making rounds to and from schools. There is also a large order of electric 18-wheelers in production by Tesla. Naturally, in the electric vehicle evolution process is electric school buses. 

Electric buses will be taking over the roads as many states are working towards a more green way of doing things. There are currently almost 500,000 school buses in total in the streets transporting kids to and from school every day. Of that nearly 500,000, only 12,275 are electric. 

Buses total around 3.4 billion miles in trips a year. These trips contribute to carbon emissions and thus contribute to global warming. Electric-powered school buses would offer a cleaner way to transport children to and from school.

Like all electric vehicles, an electric bus uses an electric motor to operate. These school buses do not produce any greenhouse-causing fumes and are suitable for the environment. The electric buses are also proving to be better for kids with respiratory conditions like asthma. 

Electric-powered school buses also have overall lower maintenance cost compared to traditional gas or diesel-powered buses. In cases of emergencies, electric buses also have the capability of powering buildings and other equipment. The buses are also quiet, making no sound when they stop and accelerate. 

In the past, electric school buses faced problems with production and charging. As electric vehicles begin to dominate the automotive industry, things are changing for the better. Infrastructure is changing, and there is more in the way of supporting this massive shift. 

Still, electric buses are facing some significant obstacles. One major factor is the cost. Compared to a traditional school bus, an electric school bus costs nearly four times more. 

Schools also have to overcome issues with subsidies and certain restrictions. Since the electric-powered school buses are so long, the charge time is several hours. As the vehicles often sit overnight, that really isn’t an issue.

The main cost factor that is hurting the popularity of electric school buses is a great trial to overcome. The cost for a small electric bus is nearly $250,000 compared to a mere $50,000 for a small traditional diesel-powered school bus.  A full-size electric bus costs up to $440,000, while a diesel-powered full-size bus costs around $100,000.

The initial cost of the electric bus is leaving many school districts weary of the investment. In the long run, electric buses would be less costly. The upfront cost, without the help of government incentives, is making the vehicle almost inaccessible.

Hopefully, within the next half of a decade or sooner, the cost will go down. An initial lower cost of electric-powered school buses, along with giver incentives in place, would allow the buses to be more accessible to small school districts and low-income districts as well. The more electric-powered buses that are on the road can only help the overall health of our planet.