More electric school buses are coming to Maine
A consultant at Mount Desert Island High School has found that the state’s first electric school bus has served the district well. And more of the vehicles will come to Maine to replace traditional diesel-powered buses.
MDI High School was the first in the country to put an electric school bus through its paces in collaboration with a coalition of non-profit organizations and with funds from the Volkswagen Emissions Benchmark. In the last school year, the bus drove 130 km a day without charging and a longer distance with charging around lunchtime.
Alex Pine, a consultant at VEIC, analyzed the data from the first year and said the bus greatly reduced particulate matter pollution and greenhouse gases.
“Over the past school year, running the school bus has saved over £30,000 in greenhouse gas emissions,” says Pine. “So that’s just over 15 tons.”
Electric buses are now also in service in Vinalhaven and Camden and soon in Falmouth. MDI schools are ordering 6 more for next year, and 60 Maine schools have applied to the Environmental Protection Agency for funds to purchase electric buses. And the EPA announced Thursday that it will double its funding for this year’s Clean School Bus program to nearly $1 billion.