Electric Buses Are On the Move

On October 26, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced the award of nearly $1 Billion from EPA’s Clean School Bus program for 389 school districts nationwide, through a program established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  The money will purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric.  These awards are the first of the five-year program that will eventually provide $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save school districts money, and produce cleaner air. A complete list of the Clean School Bus awards is available here.

In other big news for electric buses, the largest transit bus charging station and microgrid opened in Maryland in early November.  Currently, the microgrid can support 44 electric buses with the capacity to expand to 70 buses.  The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a combination of electric charging station systems, 2 MW of solar, and a 4 MW battery energy storage system.

Lastly, a settlement agreement between PG&E and the Vehicle-Grid Integration Council (VGIC), Electrify America LLC, and the Public Advocates Office at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) establishes the nation’s first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) export compensation mechanism for commercial EV charging customers in California. This V2G rate will promote EV adoption with incentives for commercial customers to offset fleet costs and export power back into the grid.  “The CPUC’s decision is a strong step forward for Californians and in support of the state’s grid, implementing the nation’s first dynamic export rate for EV charging customers… As ever-greater numbers of EVs hit the roads, this innovative rate option will allow EV owners to further benefit from their investment in clean transportation. Leveraging the capability of EVs as a grid resource will help integrate more clean energy into our power system, reduce energy bills for all utility customers, and support California’s ambitious decarbonization goals” Ed Burgess, VGIC Policy Director, said.  This great news for commercial EVs and should propel California’s transit authorities towards an all-electric future.  This export rate structure should also be used as a guide for other states and will hopefully propel the adoption of commercial EVs.

These advancements in the electric bus and commercial vehicle sectors are another good step in the Biden-Harris administrations goal of 50% of electric vehicle sale shares in the U.S. by 2030.  Stay tuned for more from Foley Hoag’s continuing zero emission vehicle series.

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