Electric School Buses
An example of an electric school bus. Photo via @CalEnergy Twitter

The Escondido Union High School District Wednesday unveiled six electric buses it has added to its fleet, intended to replace diesel-powered buses in service.

The buses will be used to transport students to and from school, as well as for school field trips, and other student transportation needs. The new buses represent 30% of the fleet and are the first electric buses for the district.

“Introducing these new buses is just one step toward making at least 60% of our school bus fleet energy efficient, which the state has mandated we do by 2040,” said Linda Rendon, the district’s director of transportation. “We are excited to be ahead of that schedule and are already looking at ways to fund additional electric buses for our district.”

The new electric buses are billed as traveling up to 160 miles on one charge. Construction on a new charging station for the district will break ground in October. In the interim, the buses are using temporary chargers.

Two of the buses were funded by the California Energy Commission’s School Bus Replacement Program, intended to help schools throughout the state transition from diesel school buses to zero- or low-emission vehicles, “improving children’s health by limiting their exposure to transportation-related air pollution and building the green economy,” a statement from the program said.

The remaining four buses were funded through a San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District grant.

According to the American School Bus Council, electric buses:

  • reduce emissions by up to 100%
  • save up to 60% in fuel costs compared to diesel
  • reduce maintenance costs by 50%
  • reduce noise pollution

City News Service contributed to this article.