Langley’s first two electric school buses will be coming to Aldergrove, the school board decided at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“The district is pretty excited to start out with two electric buses, the first two in the district,” said Brian Iseli, the secretary treasurer for the Langley School District.
Capital funding from the provincial Ministry of Education allows the district to buy three new buses this year, and two of those will be battery powered. However, the district will have to pay the difference in cost between electric and standard buses.
The buses cost $140,864 per bus, which is $95,000 more than standard internal combustion engine buses.
On the other hand, they’re expected to save $12,000 per bus per, year in lower operating and maintenance costs because electricity is cheaper than gas and electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts and need less servicing.
“You can see the payback is pretty good on that,” Iseli said.
Over the 10-year expected minimum lifetimes of the buses, that should let the district save $120,000 per bus, making up for the greater initial cost. He also noted that it reduces the carbon emissions bill that the district has to pay.
The district will need to spend $10,000 each for two charging stations for the buses.
Both buses are to serve Aldergrove Secondary, Iseli said.
“I think this is super news for our district,” said Trustee David Tod.
Trustee Tony Ward also thought the plan was exciting, only asking how long the buses were expected to last to ensure they paid for themselves in gas and maintenance savings.
The board unanimously approved the change.
Electric school buses have started arriving in multiple districts around the province this year.
In May the Ministry of Education announced that 13 districts, mostly in the Interior or on the Island, were purchasing 18 electric school buses.
TransLink also announced in January that it’s battery electric bus fleet, starting with a pilot project of four buses, will expand to 19. Eventually, 600 electric buses are planned by 2030.
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