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Electric School Bus Pilot Project Launching in Massachusetts

Dec 01, 2015

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is launching a pilot project to test the feasibility of electric school bus use. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) has been contracted to administer and manage the project. DOER is currently seeking four school districts to participate that are interested in transportation efficiency and sustainable energy solutions. With the data collected from the participants during this pilot, VEIC will analyze the economic viability of electric school bus use in the Commonwealth. If the project proves economically beneficial it has the potential to advance the utilization of electric buses across Eastern North America.

The Massachusetts pilot project will be the first demonstration of electric school bus technology on the East Coast of the U.S.  There are a number of electric school buses operating in California and Quebec Canada, but to date, the technology has not been thoroughly tested outside of these regions. Manufacturers of the vehicles are now developing buses that are optimized for operation in cold climates, making them more suitable for use in New England. School buses generally travel short and repetitive routes, which is ideal for battery electric drive technology. They also tend to sit idle for long periods of time, making them excellent candidates for vehicle to grid (V2G) and/or vehicle to building (V2B) technology. Participating school districts will be required to test the buses for both their transportation and V2G or V2B benefits.  

School districts that are interested in participating in this pilot project should reference the complete Program Opportunity Notice, and contact the DOER project manager, Stephen Russell, at (617) 626-7325 and Stephen.Russell@state.ma.us with any questions. For more information about VEIC’s involvement in this project contact Senior Consultant Bethany Whitaker at (802) 540-7861 and bwhitaker@veic.org.

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