Baltimore City Public Schools just debuted 25 electric school buses – Maryland’s second-largest electric school bus fleet, behind Montgomery County Public Schools.
The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program provided more than $9.4 million for 25 electric school buses that will be deployed in marginalized communities. They’ll serve an initial group of around 350 students daily, including students with special education needs.
Baltimore City Schools partnered with school bus fleet electrification-as-a-service provider Highland Fleets, who helped guide them through the Round 1 EPA funding application. Highland also handled the entire procurement process.
Highland Fleets announced in April that it would install 25 chargers and deploy 20 Type C electric school buses from IC Bus and 5 Type As from Collins Bus.
The IC Bus electric Type Cs being used in Baltimore have 210 kWh powertrains and a range of 135 miles. Collins’ Type A buses are Ford E-Transits with 68 kWh powertrains and a range of 100 miles.
The electric fleet will replace diesel buses in the 2024-25 school year, and some of the electric school buses will hit the road right away. The fleet will eliminate 207 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, said at yesterday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, “They’ll be quieter rides and better for the environment. And I think, most importantly, it really will contribute to the health of our young people. Baltimore City schools [have] a disproportionate amount of students who suffer from ailments like asthma.”
Baltimore City students have higher rates of asthma than anywhere else in Maryland, with around 1 in 3 students being diagnosed.
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