Plymouth gets federal electric school bus grant

  • Lion Electric in Canada is one of North America's biggest builders of electric vehicles, including school buses. Lion

Monitor staff
Published: 11/18/2022 1:00:13 PM

Another New Hampshire school district will be buying electric school buses as part of a federal push to spread the technology.

SAU 48, which covers public schools in and around Plymouth, has received $1.58 million to purchase electric school buses and build electric systems for them. The grants come under the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program.

Last month the school systems in Henniker and Rumney received similar grants under the same program. Henniker was awarded $1.6 million in rebates for four electric buses.

Over the next five years, EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is slated to provide $5 billion to replace exist ing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models, mostly electric-powered. Aside from buying the buses, winners can spend up to $20,000 per bus on infrastructure such as chargers and electric system upgrades.

 Electric school buses are much more expensive to buy than gas or electric buses but have many advantages. Aside from having no tailpipe pollution as they idle near schools or bus stops, electric vehicles have much lower operating costs because they’re cheaper to fuel and are much simpler machines than gas-powered engines and have fewer maintenance needs.

Further, because they spend much of their time sitting and operate on predictable schedules, bus batteries can be used to store and sell electricity, helping to stabilize the power grid and making some money for school systems.

SAU 48 covers schools in eight towns around Plymouth, as far east as Holderness and as far north as Thornton.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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