ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Nov. 16, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) officially plugged-in its five new electric school buses. In partnership with Dominion Energy, ACPS purchased 5 C2 Jouley electric buses, built by Thomas Built Buses, from Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Program.
“This has been a long time coming,” began ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. “The new electric buses allow for Alexandria City Public Schools to reach the largest percentage of clean energy among Northern Virginia School divisions.”
Each bus is registered with an EV (electric vehicle) before its number and powered by Proterra batteries, which plug into charging stations provided by Dominion Energy. The battery powered buses not only provide transportation from a clean, renewable energy source, but they also provide safety.
The lack of diesel engine means the buses are virtually silent while running, which leads to better communication between students and bus driver. The buses also ride more smoothly, accelerating more quickly, and automatically decelerating when let off the gas.
Also worth noting, each bus seat is equipped with seat belts and buckles to maximize safety for all.
“The power of this bus is a lot easier and more manageable than on a regular bus,” remarked one bus driver.
There are plenty of notable statistics when comparing the new electric buses to the regular diesel ones. For example, replacing one diesel school bus with one electric school bus is equivalent to taking 5.2 cars off the road per year. Also, while an electric bus costs the same as a diesel bus to purchase, the electric bus is 60% less expensive to operate and maintain compared to diesel, allowing for future investment in students, teachers, classrooms, and the environment.
“We’ve already partnered with 14 other school districts to deliver 45 other school buses,” explained Charlene Whitfield, Senior Vice President of Power Delivery at Dominion Energy. This was our last roll out event.”
Now with 50 electric school buses on the road in Virginia, a large hurdle has surely been cleared, but that does not mean the pursuit of sustainability stalls. To learn more about ACPS energy efforts, visit https://www.acps.k12.va.us.