By the end of the school year, 1300 K-12 students in British Columbia will be riding on electric buses.
The new buses, purchased by thirteen different school districts, are promised to run smoother and quieter than a gas powered bus.
Jessica Stanley, Vice Chair of the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools Board of Education, stated that the replacement of a diesel bus with an electric one reduces greenhouse gas emissions by ‘at least nine tonnes’.
“Our health and wellbeing is tied to the health of our environment,” said Stanley, “which fundamentally underlies children’s capacity for learning. That’s why it’s so important for us to take these steps, the uncomfortable ones and the easy ones, that address climate change, the climate crisis, and our greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Ministry of Education pooled $13 million for the acquisition of 101 buses, 18 of which being electric. The price of an electric bus, $350,000, is thought to be well worth it, as electric buses save schools over $100,000 over their lifetime because of lower fuel and maintenance costs.
The schools receiving buses are as follows;
- Southeast Kootenay (1)
- Rocky Mountain (1)
- Kootenay-Columbia (1)
- Vernon (2)
- Central Okanagan (3)
- Sooke (2)
- Okanagan-Skaha (1)
- Nanaimo Ladysmith (2)
- Qualicum (2)
- Kamloops-Thompson (1)
- Cowichan Valley (1)
- Vancouver Island West (1)
- Vancouver Island North (1)
The Nanaimo buses will be present and charging near to the school.
“BC Hydro worked with us and they waived some of the costs for the installation of that service in support of the program.” Stated Pete Sabo, Executive Director of Planning and Operations for the Nanaimo Ladysmith School District. “While we have two bus charging stations set up for the two buses [the Nanaimo district has] received, the charging infrastructure is scalable to a total of ten.”
Sabo says the school is looking to replace their whole fleet of buses with electric versions, should they get the grants to do so.
Residents can expect to see the buses on Route 6 and serving the area around Ladysmith potentially a week or two from now, according to Sabo.
- The electric buses in Nanaimo are outfitted with seatbelts as part of a pilot project.
- Buses display how long they need to be charged to have a full battery.
- Students at Nanaimo Ladysmith were polled by the faculty, and a vast majority of them showed major concern for climate change.