Philadelphia schools to acquire five electric school buses

The School District of Philadelphia  |  Posted on

While the buses will arrive over the summer prior to the start of the school year, a demonstration bus was onsite on June 15 for the district’s transportation staff to learn more about the bus operations.

The School District of Philadelphia announced the acquisition of five electric school buses for the 2021-22 school year through the support of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and its commitment to continue expanding the electric bus fleet by purchasing five per year to replace older diesel buses. The all-electric buses will be the first of their kind in Pennsylvania.

Through the district’s sustainability plan GreenFutures, transportation services is committed to replacing its fleet of older diesel school buses with new technologies that focus on low emissions, improved fuel economy and safety for students and drivers. The Biden administration has proposed replacing 20% of the school bus fleet in the United States, converting approximately 100,000 units out of 500,000 total units, with electric buses as part of the American Jobs Plan.

Replacing gasoline and diesel buses with electric buses addresses climate change and can help children’s health. An electric school bus replacing a diesel school bus is the equivalent of removing 23 tons of greenhouse gases per year. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation accounts for nearly one-third of all emissions, which is the highest of any sector, and heavy-duty transportation is about one-quarter of those emissions. Deploying electric school buses will cut down on respiratory contaminants in the air, ultimately improving community health while also eliminating noise pollution.