EDUCATION ACROSS OUR GREAT STATE

EV BUSES UNVEILED FOR THE BUCKEYE AND PEABODY FEEDER SYSTEMS

Brought To You By Rapides Parish School Board

The Rapides Parish School Board is ready to unveil the first round of EV Buses as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2022 Clean School Bus (CSB) grant. There will be a total of 25 electric buses and charging stations coming to the area.

The cost of these buses is covered by a federal grant and will allow RPSB to further invest in updating the rest of the bus fleet at an expedited rate. This grant saved the district $3.125 million.

There is no cost for these buses, outside of minor infrastructure enhancements that allow for parking and security.

13 buses will run in the Buckeye feeder system, and 12 will run in the Peabody feeder system. These state-of-the-art vehicles feature the most current safety systems and are fully air-conditioned.

Superintendent Jeff Powell says, “We’re looking forward to transporting students in an efficient way. This upgrade to our bus fleet will allow more of our students to have air conditioning and enhanced safety features.”

The buses can run a comfortable range of 100 miles and up to 125 miles before needing to be recharged. The Buckeye and Peabody Feeder System routes will be within the reasonable range of mileage on a charge. The EV buses will not be used for extracurricular activities. They will be dedicated to transporting students to and from school.

Buses will be charged each morning and evening. The chargers are Level III FastCharge, and each charger will provide power to two buses. RPSB will pay for the electricity to charge the EV Buses, which is no different than the school board paying for diesel fuel.

The charging cost estimate is as follows: energy used from empty to full was 63kWh (kilowatt-hour). This equals approximately $10 to charge the bus from empty to full (this approximation is based on kWh charges). In addition, the charger records how much energy it used to complete the charge.

To run a diesel-powered bus, with a 100 gallon tank, from empty to full would cost approximately $380, depending on the price of fuel.

Finally, the maintenance costs of these buses will be much less than a fuel powered vehicle. They do not require oil changes, fuel filters, or fuel. They also have regenerative braking which will save brake wear life while adding charge back to the batteries.

Director of Transportation, Alan Fontenot, says, “We’re grateful to the EPA for providing this transportation opportunity in Rapides parish. This allows our students to be on the cutting edge of what’s going on in the classroom as well as on the cutting edge on how they get to and from the classroom.”

 

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