The government of the state of Massachusetts has awarded a total of $1.4 million in grants to pay for the operation of a new electric school bus pilot program, according to recent reports.
The grant money was spread across four different awards ($350,000 each) and will be used to purchase electric school buses and chargers, and to pay for the operation of the pilot project. The pilot is intended to test the viability and potential benefits of the technology (reduced emissions, etc.).
The stated goal of the state Department of Energy Resources’ new “Vehicle-to-Grid Electric School Bus pilot program” is apparently to reduce petroleum fuel usage by around 22,680 gallons of “gasoline equivalent.” The 4 grants went to: the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, Amherst Public Schools, Cambridge Public Schools, and Concord Public Schools.
As most have probably already guessed, the new Vehicle-to-Grid Electric School Bus pilot program is one of the first electric school bus demonstrations in the US, and especially on the East Coast.
“Massachusetts schools are leading the way by testing clean and resilient energy technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector,” commented Governor Charlie Baker. “This innovative project will also reduce fuel costs and aid our commitment to a cleaner future for the Commonwealth.”
The electric school buses used in the pilot project will be supplied by the Canadian manufacturer Lion Bus, whose electric school bus Kyle Field highlighted for CleanTechnica in May (hence the pictures above).
Here are a couple of further details on the bus: “The new type C electric bus from Lion Bus, called the eLion, first hit the roads in Canada and the United States in 2015. Powered by a TM4 electric motor, the bus can travel up to 75 miles on a full charge. It will be available in multi-function school activity and commercial applications with up to a 72 passenger capacity, said Marc-Andre Page, marketing manager for Lion Bus.”
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