NDP MLA Walker says new electric school buses will drive Qualicum forward

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QUALICUM BEACH – New Democrat MLA Adam Walker says students in Qualicum will be at the forefront of a zero-emission movement as one of Qualicum School District No. 69’s new school buses is an electric vehicle.

“Our government is committed to increasing options for sustainable transportation,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “Along with other clean-energy initiatives including offering rebates for electric vehicles and building EV charging stations, these electric buses will help reduce our province’s carbon footprint and ensure our children can continue to enjoy the beauty of B.C.”

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.

As part of 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, 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.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24378