School District 8 has received confirmation that its grant application for the Go Electric school bus program has been approved. This means the district will be adding two electric school buses to its transportation fleet this year. One bus will service the Creston Valley and the other in Nelson.
The program is being administered by the Association of School Transportation Services of BC and is part of a joint initiative by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation to invest in clean energy solutions that help to reduce emissions and provide future cost savings.
Electric school buses have many advantages, including the cost of electricity compared to fuel and fewer moving mechanical parts, which means they require fewer repairs and less maintenance. In addition, a zero-emission electric school bus saves about 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually compared to a diesel school bus.
The new electric school buses also help to support the province’s CleanBC’s plan, which has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2030.
SD8’s Go Green commitment includes supporting low carbon initiatives in all elements of its operations; from transportation, facility upgrades, to waste reduction and recycling programs. “All initiatives aim to reduce the district’s carbon footprint, increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs,” says Michael McLellan, secretary-treasurer.
Multiple grant applications combined successfully resulted in funding support of $245,000 for the two electric buses, as well as two charging stations. The SD8 operations department is now working to design and install the charging stations at the Creston and Nelson operations yards to be ready for the buses much anticipated arrival in early winter.