CASTLEGAR – New Democrat MLA Katrine Conroy says students in School District 20 will be at the forefront of a zero-emission movement as one of the district’s new school buses is an electric vehicle.
“People across our communities are concerned about climate change, but sometimes the changes we need to make can seem daunting. With this new emissions-free bus, we’re investing in a future for families and their children where riding to school is also good for the environment.”
The district is one of thirteen across the province that have purchased a total of 18 electric school buses which will begin operating in B.C. communities by the end of this school year
The Ministry of Education’s Bus Acquisition Program provided $13 million for 31 school districts to buy a total of 101 new buses, including 18 electric buses. The purchase price for each electric school bus is approximately $350,000, compared to $150,000 for an equivalent diesel school bus. And the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has allocated supplemental funding of up to $125,000 towards the capital costs of each of the more expensive electric buses.
MLA Conroy says that as a new initiative launched by the Ministry of Education in April 2020, this is the first-time school districts in B.C. have been able to purchase electric buses through funding from the Ministry. School districts that buy electric buses also have access to provincial funding for necessary charging station infrastructure.
Electric school buses have many advantages compared to diesel school buses. The cost of electricity is less than fuel and fewer moving mechanical parts means they require much less repair and maintenance.
Travel on electric school buses is smoother, quieter, and healthier than traditional diesel buses. Overall, electric school buses are highly efficient, produce zero carbon dioxide emissions and are much more cost-effective to operate over time. A zero-emission electric school bus saves approximately 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually compared to a diesel school bus.