VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Hampton public schools were among the 16 school divisions statewide selected to implement the nation’s largest electric school bus initiative.
This initiative, launched by Dominion Energy, will replace Virginia diesel school buses with electric ones.
VBCPS will receive six electric school buses later this year to replace older diesel buses and reduce emissions, making it the nations’ largest system to take part in the transition.
“We’re honored to partner with Dominion Energy for this first-of-its-kind endeavor,” said the Virginia Beach School Division’s Chief Operations Officer Jack Freeman.
Norfolk Public Schools will receive a total of four buses with the first one being delivered in August in time to transport students back to school in September. School officials report the remaining three will be delivered in the fall.
“We are so pleased that Dominion Energy has selected Norfolk Public Schools to be part of this exciting program,” said Acting Norfolk Superintendent Dr. Sharon I. Byrdsong. “Not only is this a great business partnership, it’s a wonderful way for our students to see firsthand the practical application of science and technology that will benefit Norfolk’s environment.”
Hampton City Schools will receive one electric bus through the initiative.
According to Dominion Energy, electric school buses are up to 60 percent less expensive to operate and maintain over time, are free of emissions and will have vehicle-to-grid technology to leverage bus batteries to store and inject energy onto the power grid when the buses are not needed for transport.
Dominion Energy will pay for the installation of charging stations needed required to operate the electric buses.
As part of the initiative, Dominion will pay for the difference in cost between a traditional diesel bus, costing approximately $105,000, and an electric bus, estimated at $350,000.
Officials believe electric school buses will have a positive environmental impact by reducing the carbon footprint.
Dominion Energy estimates that one electric bus reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 54,000 pounds per year.