EV School Buses–the 4 BIG Drawbacks…and Maybe a 5th
Earlier this week, Vice President Kamala Harris was in Seattle, as the Feds announced a new $1 billion-dollar EV school bus program.
What are the four big drawbacks?
While touting the clean, pollution-free aspect of these vehicles, and how they are the wave of the future, Harris, the EPA, and others did not mention the drawbacks.
We studied various reports, including one from the website School Transportation News.
According to this site, which is considered a reliable source for news, information, and reports on transporting students, there are four big drawbacks. They are:
- Higher purchase price. According to various automotive reports, a brand-new diesel-powered school bus costs anywhere from $200 to $220K. However, an electric model will run closer to $400K. But environmental experts claim the fuel savings will average between $2 and $4K a year. Even that, though, means it would take over a decade for it to pay off.
- Charging infrastructure. If it costs anywhere from $600 to $1,200 to install a charging station in your home for an EV, imagine the cost to build enough to power a fleet of electric buses.
- Driver and Technician training. School Transportation News reports there are significant differences between the operation and maintenance of an electric bus vs. Diesel.
- Range (mileage): There are questions about how far an electric bus can run. According to reports, the Elma, WA school district added one, it can reach 65 mph and claims it can travel 138 miles without recharging. But cut that in half, because you have to return from your destination. This bus won't come in handy on sports or event road trips.
And there is a 5th potential drawback. Extremely cold weather. Multiple reports indicate that freezing or sub-freezing temps can sap as much as 30 percent of the vehicle's battery life, according to a 2019 article by Motor Junkie. Some of this draw is due to having to heat the vehicle's interior.
Back on September 27th, we reported on a well-known YouTube auto show host who tested the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning EV (all-electric) truck. He found the acceleration and power to be excellent, but the mileage was shockingly bad. Towing any kind of weight with the truck destroyed the battery life and mileage.
Would hate to see a busload of students stranded in a rural district in the snow, because their bus ran out of battery power.
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