As governments and municipalities around the world continue to set goals for decarbonization over the coming years in order to create a more sustainable society, school transportation fleets face a rapidly approaching electrified future. The benefits, of course, are clear – improved health for our kids through cleaner air and lower particulate emissions, less noise pollution, as well as lower fleet costs and increased reliability. In short, everyone wins.
In order for electric school transportation to rapidly scale, there is another need to be addressed – where will all of these new zero-emission buses charge? The good news is charging really isn’t as complex as it may seem at first glance.
With a few unique exceptions, the majority of fleet charging is done overnight when buses would otherwise be out of use. As a bonus, that means fleet operators effectively start the day with the equivalent of a “full tank.” Daily refueling stops are also no longer necessary, simplifying dispatch schedules. Buses just plug in after finishing their daily routes.
The market is constantly evolving, and new DC charging products are coming to market which offer lower charging power (24 kilowatts) and have the potential to bring significant savings to an infrastructure installation project.
Once the right pieces are in place fleet operators benefit from cleaner fleets, lower costs and, most importantly, healthier kids. After all, no one likes buying gas – and as a bonus, plugging in is cheaper.