In celebration of National Drive Electric Week, the Beaverton School District is excited to announce that it’s been selected by Portland General Electric’s 2022 Electric School Bus Fund to receive funding to purchase an electric school bus, install charging infrastructure and provide technical and training support to its drivers. School districts were chosen based on their commitments to meet the needs of underserved communities and incorporate the buses more broadly into student education around climate science.
“With this new e-bus, we will have a total of three electric school buses in the district,” says Craig Beaver, BSD’s Administrator for Transportation. “Our ultimate goal is to have 30 e-buses in our fleet within 3 years.”
Transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon and a major source of other air pollutants. Benefits of the electric school buses include:
- Electric school buses reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half compared to diesel school buses.
- Electric school buses have zero tailpipe emissions and significantly reduce carbon monoxide emissions, nitrogen oxide emissions and other toxic compounds — which have significant negative health impacts, especially asthma in children.
Safety and comfort
- Electric school buses are quiet, reducing noise pollution in neighborhoods.
- Drivers are better able to communicate with students.
Lower long-term cost
Electricity is less expensive than diesel, and prices are more stable over time.
The electric school bus program is funded by the sale of Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits, which PGE aggregates on behalf of residential customers who charge their electric vehicles at home. PGE is covering the additional cost of the electric school buses (the difference in cost between a standard diesel bus and an electric bus) and the total installation of charging infrastructure. PGE is also providing technical assistance to school districts throughout the process, including site assessments, cost-benefit analysis, vehicle and charger selection support, and driver and mechanic support. In return, participating school districts will work with PGE to share their insights and learnings with other school districts interested in electrifying their bus fleets.
“Portland General Electric is excited to support our partners in expanding cleaner transportation systems across the state,” said Maria Pope, president and CEO of PGE. “Transportation electrification plays an essential role in accelerating the clean energy transition. It is going to take all of us working together to achieve a cleaner and more equitable future for all Oregonians.”