MCPS Replacing 326 Diesel School Buses with Electric Buses Over Next Four Years
As part of its commitment to sustainability, MCPS is replacing 326 diesel school buses with electric school buses over the next four years.
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Montgomery County Board of Education approved a $1,312,500 four-year contract between MCPS and HET MCPS, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary created by Massachusetts-based Highland Electric Transportation, Inc., for the purpose of this project.
The vendor will invest in the upfront costs of purchasing the electric school buses with the plan to recoup that investment over time through decreasing vehicle prices, less expensive fuel and maintenance savings. The cost to MCPS includes use of the bus, all charging infrastructure, charge management, electricity and maintenance reimbursement.
The total lifetime contract cost for the 326 electric buses, which will eventually replace the current fleet, is $168,684,990. MCPS expects to cover the cost of the contract over time with funds that otherwise would have been spent purchasing and operating diesel school buses.
MCPS’ current bus fleet is powered by diesel engines. On a typical school day, the buses use approximately 17,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Diesel buses emit greenhouse gases; electric school buses do not have any tailpipe emissions.
“MCPS has been working to increase sustainable practices in all aspects of our school system operations,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “It’s critical that we be good stewards of our natural resources and do our part to protect the environment.”
Twenty-five electric buses will be maintained at the Bethesda depot starting in the 2021-2022 school year and one bus will operate in each school cluster. MCPS will acquire 61 additional electric buses in the fall of 2022, and 120 electric buses in each of the two years after.