The largest electric school bus fleet in the US just launched in Maryland

Montgomery County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the US, has deployed the single largest electric school bus fleet in the country.

Last school year, the school district saw the delivery of its first 25 electric buses and installed electric infrastructure at one of its transportation depots.

It’s now added 61 more electric buses to its fleet, for a total of 86.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will replace 326 diesel school buses with electric school buses by 2025, and it will have an entirely electric school bus fleet in 10 years.

Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight

Superintendent Dr. Monifa B. McKnight said at yesterday’s launch that, when procurement of the 326 electric buses is complete, “we are going to be saving upwards of 6,500 gallons of diesel fuel per day, and immediately, this is going to cut costs by 50%.”

The Maryland school district held a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda with Highland Electric Fleets, which provides school bus fleet electrification-as-a-service.

Highland designs and organizes electric school bus projects for school districts; creates a subscription plan that includes buses, chargers, and depot improvements; and procures the electric school buses and manages the construction of depot upgrades within school districts.

Each school district gets to choose which make and model of electric school buses they want; Montgomery County has chosen all Thomas Built electric school buses. Some are Type C, with a 226 kWh standard battery capacity and a range of up to 138 miles, and some are Type A, which is a smaller bus.

Electric infrastructure will be installed at three more transportation depots.

Maryland House Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo said:

Toxic pollutants can be as much as 2.5 times more prevalent inside a typical diesel school bus than inside an electric school bus.

Considering this, along with the carbon emissions caused by the 17,000 gallons of fuel that MCPS diesel buses use daily, electrifying our school bus fleets is an imperative public health, climate change, and environmental priority.

The state of Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 requires all new school bus purchases and contracts to be electric by 2025.

Read more: EPA doubles electric school bus funding to almost $1B after overwhelming initial demand

Photos: Montgomery County Public Schools and Highland Electric Fleets


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