Loudoun School Seeks to Expand Electric Bus Fleet

The School Board’s Finance and Operations Committee on Thursday voted 2-0 to recommend that the full board apply for the EPA Clean School Bus Grant Program. 

If the grant is awarded, Loudoun County Public Schools will be able to purchase 25 new electric school busses. The additional buses would add to the electric school bus pilot program Loudoun County Public Schools has in place.

During phase one of the pilot program, the school division has been operating five electric 77-passenger Thomas Type-C electric school buses that were funded through a partnership with Dominion Energy. As part of that partnership, Dominion also provided five fast charging stations that are at the Park View High School bus lot.

Phase two began with the award of $1,442,244 from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Round 1 Clean School Bus Grant Program for six 81-passenger Blue Bird Type D electric buses and six AC Level 2 Chargers. Those six buses will be based at Cardinal Ridge Elementary School. They are expected to be delivered and in operation this November.

Phase three of the electric bus program was when the district was also awarded $2,520,000 from Round 2 of the Virginia DEQ Clean School Bus Grant Program for another 10 electric school buses. 

Five of those 81-passenger Blue Bird Type D buses with five chargers will be based at Cardinal Ridge Elementary School. The other five 71-passenger IC long range Type C buses with five chargers will be based at Emerick Elementary School. 

If the school division is awarded the EPA Clean School Bus Grant, 15 more buses will be based at the central garage. The application for the EPA Clean School Bus Grant Program is due on Aug. 19. 

Tom Marshall (Leesburg) was absent for the vote.

4 thoughts on “Loudoun School Seeks to Expand Electric Bus Fleet

  • 2022-08-05 at 1:52 pm
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    The best way to reduce fossil fuel use by LCPS is for the school board to insist that half empty buses or worse don’t keep criss-crossing the county. WHERE in the budget has either the school board or the BOS demanded a minimum occupancy level be maintained for every route? Is it in the Superintendent performance package? So tired of viewpoint signaling when good analysis and professional execution would do so much more for the same cause. 🙂

  • 2022-08-05 at 1:56 pm
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    I’ve read mixed review about electric buses. Critics say LCPS is simply “virtual signaling.” But I think the school division should be commended. It’s on a path that decreases its carbon footprint. That’s a good thing. Happy Couscous Day Loudoun!

  • 2022-08-05 at 2:26 pm
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    Electricity shortage but let us change from diesel which there is an abundance of to faulty supply chain issues electric.

  • 2022-08-09 at 1:25 pm
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    Is this really a School Board issue; reducing emssions from buses?
    These large electric vehicles will be more expensive and less reliable over the long term. If you are concerned about the environment, you will object to Loudoun buying these buses because even though their operation will reduce emissions, their production and disposal has a much greater negative impact on the environment than the regular diesel buses. If you want to reduce school bus emissions, LCPS could consider consolidating bus routes, carpooling, and other transportation incentives.
    If you really are concerned about emissions, then figure out how to make riding the bus NOT suck. Parent and kids know this and just drive to school or have teens drive themselves to school. That’s one car for each kid that doesn’t take the bus. Think about that. Fewer cars and buses… less emissions.

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