For most bus usage, range is not an issue. They are probably quieter and are not idling when stopped to pick up kids, spewing diesel exhaust.

The Beaverton School District is the first school district in Oregon to have electric school buses in its fleet. The district unveiled two new electric school buses, the result of their partnership with Portland General Electric.

Source: Oregon’s first electric school buses get rolling in Beaverton | KVAL

No idea what their cost was though and that does need to be taken into consideration.

I once lived in a city that decided to go big and began replacing its metro buses with hybrid buses, arguing they would cost less over time even though they cost about 4x more per bus than a new diesel bus.

All of their arguments proved wrong and within years, the new hybrid buses were taken out of service as they had worse fuel efficiency and cost far more than they had said. Consequently, I’m suspicious of the new EV buses – although I think this is a great application for EV technology and I hope this proves successful.

The promotors of the hybrid bus purchase claimed new hybrid buses would be more fuel efficient and have lower maintenance costs. Turned out they had worse fuel efficiency and the maintenance costs argument was based on a flawed comparison. Rather than compare the maintenance costs of a new diesel bus with a new hybrid, they compared to their 20+ year old bus fleet maintenance costs. They also assumed fuel costs were going to double – when in fact, they fell by half.

After a few years of worse fuel efficiency and higher maintenance costs, the hybrid buses were moth balled as a huge waste of money.

Government agencies tend to jump on memes and often use intentionally incorrect accounting to justify the purchase. Managers get shiny new toys and years in the future, no one will be held accountable for prior bad decisions.

That said, I hope these new school buses will be successful.

By EdwardM