Dominion Energy, which selected Thomas Built Buses last month for its electric school bus pilot, now plans to bring 50 electric buses to 16 school districts, including several in the Washington area, by the end of the year.
Dominion is offsetting the additional costs of the electric buses, including charging infrastructure, above what school districts would pay for a diesel bus.
Local school districts that will get some of the 50 electric buses in phase one include Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Prince William County.
For Dominion Energy, the buses will also serve as a grid resource, by creating additional energy storage technology that can inject energy onto the grid when the buses are not in use.
The school districts selected were chosen based on the benefit bus batteries would bring to the electric grid.
“This is an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children’s health, make the electric grid stronger and free up money for our schools,” said Dominion Energy CEO Thomas Farrell II.
Dominion says maintenance costs for the electric buses could be as much as 60% lower than standard diesel buses.
Dominion Energy plans a phase two that, with state approval, would expand the electric bus program to 1,000 buses by 2025. A phase three would set the goal of 50% of all diesel bus replacements in Dominion Energy’s territory and 100% by 2030.