Love it or hate it, electric cars and trucks are becoming more and more common. I'm not saying we're ready to go 100 percent electric, but, for right now, they are a good compliment to the more reliable gas and diesel powered vehicles. So its no surprise that school buses would be the latest vehicles to have an all electric option available. Through some government grants, four East Texas school districts will be able to add some electric school buses to their fleet.

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Grants for Electric School Buses

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering $50 million in grants to school districts across the country to add electric school buses to their fleet. Four school districts in East Texas will receive a portion of these grants, Martinsville, Cushing, Kilgore and North Hopkins ISDs (KETK). Before jumping to conclusions, these grants will not replace the existing fleet but will add two to four electric buses to replace some older vehicles.

This will allow our school district to be able to trade in four school buses with an average age of 17 years old. - Will Cauthen, assistant superintendent of Martinsville ISD

 

It means cost savings, $500,000 we’d spent on two new bus, diesel buses, can now be spent somewhere else to help our students. - Superintendent of Cushing ISD Brandon Enos

District's Concerns

That's not to say that these school districts don't have some concerns when it comes to these electric school buses. Their main concern is how long these buses can run on a charge. Can they last on a longer route through the more rural areas of their district.

Other Money Received for Electric Buses

The schools will also receive funds to add the charging stations for the buses and some money to help with maintenance. The look of the buses will also be slightly different. They will still be yellow but the bumper will be either blue or green. Bus drivers will also have to go through some training before being able to drive the buses.

Eight other Texas school districts will be accepting these grants as well:

  • Dallas
  • Socorro
  • Wolfe City
  • Killeen
  • Houston
  • Matagorda
  • Refugio
  • San Felipe-Del Rio

The Future of Electric Vehicles

As I stated above, I know many of you reading this have your reservations about electric vehicles and if there is even a need for them. Car companies are pushing them hard right now but haven't gotten away from the traditional gas or diesel powered vehicles. Those won't be going by the wayside any time soon. The technology is not efficient enough yet to go 100 percent electric.

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