A school district in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands is looking into introducing a fleet of electric buses.
School District 64 — which is made up of the Saltspring, Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, Pender islands — commissioned a study that investigated the feasibility of replacing its 12 standard school buses with electric vehicles.
Overall, the study found that these electric buses would have environmental, health and financial benefits. Firstly, the electric buses are expected to cut back on emissions that could harm both the environment and the students who breathe in exhaust fumes. Further, the study discovered that the electric vehicles could save the district $50,000 each year in fuel and maintenance fees.
Finally, the buses can be in operation longer than their gas-powered counterparts. The study notes that electric bus batteries have warranties of up to 15 years, while the district’s current buses need to be retired every 12 years.
At first, though, the district would need to spend around $270,000 for each electric bus, plus more than $100,000 for the charging infrastructure in the maintenance yard.
To help with this, the study proposes assistance through the CleanBC programs, which offer a $20,000 rebate for vehicles that cost less than $300,000, as well as other government funding.
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