Alexandria City Public Schools will soon buy 10 electric-powered school buses with more than $2 million in grant money.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality awarded ACPS $2,325,000, which covers the cost difference to buy the electric buses instead of diesel-powered buses, the school system announced in a news release Monday.
“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," ACPS Director of Pupil Transportation and Fleet Management Scott Merriman said in the release.
Merriman said the electric buses will also save the school system thousands of dollars in diesel fuel costs, and allow ACPS to retire 10 older diesel buses. Replacing one diesel bus with one electric bus is the equivalent of removing 5.2 cars from the road each year, according to ACPS.
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Safety is another benefit of the buses, which have three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts and allow bus drivers to communicate better with students because they're less noisy, the school system said.
The school system already has five electric school buses purchased through the Dominion Energy Electric School Bus Program in October 2021.
Once it receives the additional 10 buses in early 2023, ACPS says it will have the largest percentage of clean energy buses among Northern Virginia school districts.
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Alexandria was one of 11 public school systems in the state to receive some of the grant money for clean energy buses.