Alaska’s first all-electric school bus can run easily at -40 ° F

Taking the school bus to school has long been a routine for children around the world.

But in fact they are quite dangerous. To put it in numbers, 24 million children travel on 454,000 school buses in the United States. And these buses travel more than four billion miles each year, with children spending 3 billion hours on them. Having that in mind about 90 percent of these buses run on diesel, they emit 3,000 tons of soot, which cause cancer, and 95,000 tons of compounds, which cause smog.

Electrification of school buses

That’s where the electric school buses come from. Thomas builds buses, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks in North America, has been operation of electric buses since the early 2000s. Most notable for its electric school buses, one of Thomas Built’s buses became the first electric school bus to travel on a route with students in the state of Alaska.

It becomes strong even at -40 ° F in Tok, Alaska, the Thomas Built bus is the first and currently the only one in Alaska fully electric school bus, from October 2020. And dalthough it can travel 138 miles (222 km) on a charge, the zero-emission bus typically covers 30 miles (48 km) on a daily basis.

Saying he was impressed with the performance of the bus, Gerald Stretch Blackard, owner of Tok Transportation, said “The bus performed well and definitely lived up to expectations. In fact, it exceeded my expectations in cold weather, which is often sub-zero temperatures. It works smoothly, and the heating system, which also runs on electricity, works well to keep the bus warm. interview with Thomas Built Buses.

The company behind the rental of an electric school bus, Tok Transportation, bought the bus for $ 50,000, when the bus actually cost a whopping $ 400,000. The company received a grant from the Alaska Energy Authority, which covered $ 350,000 of the total in addition to the payment for solar panels that charge the bus.

How did it all start? Regarding his revolutionary idea, Blackard said that “We had a grant for an electric school bus, so I wanted to give it a try. An electric school bus has been linked to the sustainability efforts of some of our schools, plus who has heard of an electric school bus in Alaska? I’ve always had an interest in trying new things. When someone says something can’t be done, I always want to try it myself. ”

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