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Alexandria City Public Schools Awarded $2.3 Million Dollar Grant for New Electric School Buses

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has been awarded $2,325,000 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the purchase of 10 new electric school buses. The award amount will supply the ACPS Office of Pupil Transportation and Fleet Management with the funds needed to help the school division cover the cost difference to purchase the electric-powered school buses rather than purchase 10 diesel-powered buses. Additionally, the Dominion Energy Electric School Bus Program will expand the charging station infrastructure at no additional cost to the division. 

ACPS is one of 11 public school divisions to receive part of the $14 million awarded grant by DEQ for clean energy school buses. These awards, made through the Clean School Bus Program (CBSP), complement more than $10 million awarded last August to replace 72 diesel school buses in 17 school divisions with electric and propane buses. The funding comes from Virginia’s $93.6 million allocation to the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, which supports initiatives to reduce air pollution.

“Replacing diesel school buses with new electric buses will benefit our students’ health by reducing their exposure to air pollution, as each electric school bus prevents 291 tons of pollution. These new buses will also save our school division thousands of dollars in diesel fuel costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. I want to thank the ACPS community partnerships and engagement team for its successful application and the essential support for the division to receive these grants,” said ACPS Director of Pupil Transportation and Fleet Management Scott Merriman.

The new electric buses will allow ACPS to retire 10 older diesel buses and add to the current fleet of five electric school buses purchased through the Dominion Electric program in October 2021. The new electric buses will be delivered in early 2023 and will position ACPS as having the largest percentage of clean energy school buses among Northern Virginia school divisions.

“I want to congratulate the ACPS Facilities & Operations Department, specifically the Office of Pupil Transportation and Fleet Management, for all of their hard work to bring electric buses to our school division. ACPS is always interested in environmentally-friendly technology, and these new electric buses are energy-efficient, cost-effective and reflect our school division’s dedication to sustainability,” said Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

Replacing one diesel bus with one electric bus is the equivalent of removing 5.2 cars from the road each year. They are also safe and cost-effective. Each school bus is equipped with three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts and produces less noise allowing for better communication between drivers and students. They are also 60% less expensive to operate and maintain, which means schools can invest more resources in our students and classrooms. 

The electric school buses are part of ACPS’ commitment to sustainability. The new buses operate entirely by electrical power, help store electricity, and stabilize the power grid while creating a quieter ride for students. Electric school buses provide a number of benefits, including reduced emissions, cost savings, and enhanced grid reliability through vehicle-to-grid technology. Since the buses were placed in service last fall, ACPS’ electric charging stations have powered more than 55,000 kilowatts, which converts to over $8,000 in diesel fuel cost savings. 

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) serves more than 15,400 students who hail from more than 110 countries and speak 121 languages. ACPS has 18 schools, including two middle schools, two K-8 schools, one pre-K school and the internationally recognized Alexandria City High School. ACPS is committed to putting racial equity at the heart of all decisions and ensuring that each and every student succeeds. Visit www.acps.k12.va.us.

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