Why Electric School Buses Are the Healthier Choice for Students

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School bus fleets in the US are making a shift from gas-guzzlers to electric vehicles, and this includes school buses. As of mid-2023, nearly 6,000 electric school buses have been committed across the country, covering those ordered, delivered, and already on the road. Discover why electric buses are a smart move for student well-being and how your school can make the switch.

Why the Switch to Electric School Buses Matters

In just two words: child wellness. Many school districts opt for diesel buses for fuel efficiency, but even back in 2012, diesel exhaust was labeled a human carcinogen. The National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) points out that Traffic-Related Air Pollution (TRAP) packs in various harmful elements. From ground-level ozone to nitrogen oxides, TRAP is a mix of bad news. NIEHS links air pollution to serious health issues like cancer, heart problems, and respiratory diseases.

What makes school bus emissions particularly alarming is their knack for infiltrating vehicle cabins, schoolyards, playgrounds, and residential areas. Especially in urban settings, kids might find it hard to dodge these harmful fumes. TRAP isn’t just an external threat; it can mess with students’ cognitive abilities and even alter their brain structure. Making the switch to electric is a crucial step in prioritizing the health of our young learners.

Let’s talk electric buses.

Electric school buses are a breath of fresh air – literally. With no tailpipe emissions, kids stay clear of nasty vehicle fumes when hopping on or off. Now, the electricity that charges them might have some greenhouse gas emissions, but the good news is that’s changing. More utility companies are going green, making those emissions disappear.

Why does it matter? Well, it’s about making schools healthier for students. And guess what? There’s help to make the switch from old-school buses.

Here’s the lowdown on funding:

The U.S. government’s got your back, pushing for electric school buses through the Clean School Bus Program (CSB). Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $5 billion is up for grabs from 2022 to 2026. The CSB works two ways – Rebates and Grants.

In 2022, the CSB dished out $965 million to replace school buses at nearly 400 schools using rebates. Now, they’re gearing up for more. In 2023, there’s another $500 million in rebates and a cool $400 million in grants on the table. Applications for the 2023 CSB Rebate Program are open until Jan. 31st, 2024, 4 pm ET.

So, what about electric buses? It’s not just a trend; it’s a shift to a healthier ride for students, backed by some serious funding.

Funding for electric school buses isn’t just a federal affair – states and electric utilities are also onboard. Take Nevada Energy, for instance. They’re rolling out a sweet deal, slashing 75% off electric school bus and charger costs through their Electric School Bus Incentives program.

To uncover similar state-level perks, hit up the Alternative Fuels Data Center search tool. Click on your state, and voila! You’ll get the lowdown on electric vehicle incentives in a snap.

The Electric School Bus Initiative, the crusader for greening up school bus fleets, is your go-to. For school boards eyeing the switch from diesel to electric, they’ve got the 411 and resources.

And don’t sleep on local utilities. Some might drop handy programs your way. Case in point: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G or VTG). It’s like a futuristic dream where your electric bus helps power the grid during peak times. Still in the works, but soon, fleet managers could be cutting their electric bills by teaming up with a V2G school bus program or hitching a ride on their utility’s demand response program. Bright times ahead!

Powering Up Your Electric School Bus Fleet

When it comes to juicing up your electric school bus fleet, the key players are EV chargers. But what’s the lowdown on the chargers you need?

For a well-rounded fleet, Blink Charging usually suggests a mix of Level 2 chargers and direct current fast chargers (DCFC).

Level 2 chargers, working their magic in 4 to 8 hours, depend on the vehicle and station amperage. Meanwhile, the DCFC is the speed demon, zapping a battery to life in under an hour. But, here’s the catch – speed comes with a price tag. DC fast chargers are speedier but need more power and a chunkier installation budget.

So, what’s the smart move? A combo platter of Level 2 chargers for routine charging and DCFC for those times when you’re in a hurry. It’s like having options in your toolbox.

To sum it up, making the switch to electric school buses is a big deal for the well-being of our students nationwide. These buses don’t puff out harmful emissions, making the air around schools a breath of fresh air. Ready to roll? Ask your Blink Charging sales whiz how to kickstart your electric school bus fleet plan. Let’s plug into a cleaner future!

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