ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — Five new electric school buses have been added to Alexandria City Public Schools’ growing fleet, in an effort to continue the city’s efforts to provide cleaner, greener and quieter ways to transport children to school.
“Replacing one diesel bus with one electric bus is the equivalent of removing 5.2 cars… each year,” said School Board Chair Meagan Alderton at the “plug-in” ceremony on Tuesday. “These buses offer many benefits, such as reduced emissions, cost savings and enhanced grid reliability through vehicle to grid technology.”
Superintendent Dr. Gregory Hutchings, Jr. says the fleet is also saving the schools some extra cash. Electric school buses cost less than half to operate and maintain, according to Dominion Energy representatives.
“The price of these buses are the same as the price we pay for a diesel bus, but they are 60% less in regards to expenses,” said Hutchings.
The new vehicles were provided through a partnership with the bus company Sonny Merryman and Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus program.
“The air inside of these electric school buses are up to five times cleaner than the air on a diesel bus,” said Charlene Whitfield, Dominion Energy senior vice president.
The buses also feature safety belts, and the vehicle to grid technology leverages the bus batteries to store energy onto the grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not needed for transport.
The five new additions to this fleet bring the total to 118 buses owned by the school division, the largest percentage of clean energy buses in Northern Virginia.