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Top 5 Questions About Electric Bus Fleets

What’s the range of an electric school bus?

One of the most common questions people ask about electric school buses is about the usable range. Depending on conditions and driver behavior, EV buses get up to 138 miles per full charge. Thomas Built Buses cites the average daily school bus route as approximately 63 miles per day, so the range of an EV bus is well within the requirements for most districts.

How long does it take to fully charge an electric school bus?

There are two different level charging stations that are appropriate for school bus fleets, level 2 and level 3. Level 2 chargers operate in the 25kW range and require up to eight hours—or overnight—to charge. They can also “top off” a charge between the morning and afternoon runs. Level 3 chargers—Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC)—operate in the 60kW range and can fully charge a bus in two to three hours.

Are there funding incentives to help districts adopt EV buses?

Yes! There are many incentives at the federal, state, and utility levels designed to ease the adoption of EV technology. For example, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Grant Program is currently open until August 22, 2023, and will award $400 million in competitive grant funding for zero—or low—tailpipe emission buses. There are other state and utility-based programs that can be stacked together for maximum savings for buses and charging infrastructure.

What’s the cost to install a charging station?

There are a few factors involved in pricing charging infrastructure beginning with the type (level) of chargers that you intend to install. The location and proximity to electric service (utility) also factor into the price. For level 2 chargers, the cost ranges between $2,000–$5,000 per station. For level 3 chargers, the cost is between $40,000 and $65,000. Remember that funding incentives and tax breaks can help offset these costs.

Are electric school buses more cost-effective in the long run?

Currently, there are several generous funding programs designed to help offset the purchase price of EV buses. With reduced maintenance and a simpler motor, EV buses save money in maintenance from the very start. The cost of charging the vehicle is a more predictable, stable cost that saves over the lifetime of the vehicle compared with petroleum-based fuels such as gas, diesel, or propane.

Are your considering adding electric buses to your fleet?

Livingston Energy Group is working with several government agencies, large companies, and educational institutions, helping them electrify their fleets. Some of the most common questions we’ve encountered about EV buses involve cost, charging infrastructure, and range.

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