Electric school buses are quickly growing in volume in the USA, and are being supported by funding from Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). They are a logical avenue for cleantech investment, not only cutting global warming pollution but also cutting pollution that gives children asthma, cancer, and more.
Some have found that electric buses can also be ideal storers of energy and can offer grid services with the right vehicle-to-grid tech included. Others have found that electric buses can simply save a school district a lot of money from their low operational and maintenance costs. Another large school district seems to be on the verge of at least the latter discoveries — we just don’t know what school district.
Let me explain. The news is that Orion Energy Systems subsidiary Voltrek has been contracted to install the EV charging station solutions for “an EV School Bus Pilot program for a large municipal school district.” This electric school bus pilot program is launching with 20 electric school buses but will later on expand to 145 electric school buses.
The school district in question aims to have its entire school bus fleet 100% electric by 2030. That is certainly one of the most ambitious school bus electrification programs in the United States. One would think it is somewhere in California, but who knows?
“Voltrek is a pioneer in the EV charging industry with over a decade of success on projects throughout the nation. Their engineering, design, installation, service, and maintenance capabilities are a perfect fit for the electrification goals of this school bus pilot program,” Orion CEO Mike Jenkins noted. “Supporting our customers’ sustainability, efficiency and carbon reduction efforts over the long term is our core mission at Orion and Voltrek.”
We also know that some of the EV charging installation is being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (aka COVID-19 Stimulus Package).
We don’t yet know what brand of electric school bus the mystery school district is using either.