EV School Buses and Utilities

August 2, 2022
electric utilities

Deciding to transition to electric school buses is a big step for districts. Administrators have plenty of questions, especially about the cost to charge electric vehicles. In this article, we’ll take a look at partnering with electric utilities and how the costs can impact schools.

Partnering with Electric Utilities

Before contacting your electric provider, you want to start thinking about a few aspects. How many EV buses are you planning on charging? You also want to pay attention to the layout of the lot. It will help determine the placement of the buses and chargers. Make sure you include your facility manager in the planning process, they will play a large role in the transition to electric buses.

Early communication with your electric provider is key. It will make the installation process go more smoothly. These early discussions are also when you find out about any incentives the utility provider may be offering. The incentives can help offset installation costs.

Make sure you cover all aspects of the project with the utility provider, including the number of EV buses you plan on adding to your fleet. The type of chargers is something else to cover, along with are you planning on a vehicle-to-gird or vehicle-to-building setup.

The key takeaways from this early planning are, ensuring you do your research and have a coherent installation plan. It’s also vital to have a good working relationship with your utility provider.

Determining Your Energy Needs

One of the biggest challenges you may face is determining your energy needs. They are based on multiple factors that include temperature, the number of miles driven daily, and the auxiliary load.

Finding out what your energy needs will be is crucial to ensuring you receive enough power from the grid to charge your fleet of electric buses.

Your energy provider needs to know your peak demand to ensure the appropriate upgrades are made to the grid. It is often part of the cost to charge an electric vehicle. Sometimes you are financially responsible for the additional equipment necessary to upgrade the grid. There may be some financial incentives to take advantage of and your utility provider can supply the necessary information.

Did you know this is part two of an electric school bus series? In the first article start with a basic introduction to EV school buses, and we continue the series to cover everything you need to know to electrify your fleet. Check out our current articles designed to help the education sector transition smoothly to EVs

Cost to Charge an Electric Bus

Electricity rates affect charging costs, and you want to understand the terminology to ensure your electric bill isn’t a financial burden on the facility.

Electrical charges vary depending on the type of electric bill and how much the facility pays for energy usage. Electrical rates increase or decrease depending on the time of day and the provider. Electric companies also often offer plans with different rates to meet the different needs of their customers.

It’s a good idea to talk with your energy provider to find out which rate plan meets your charging needs and budget.

A few aspects to take away from the cost of charging an electric car includes rates that are often based on demand. For example, your electric bill will be noticeably higher if you are charging the EV buses during peak hours.

You also want to consider the time of year the fleet will be consuming the most energy. For electric school buses, it is typically from the fall through the spring.

Charging Electric Buses with Apogee Charging Solutions

For more information on the cost to charge an electric school bus, talk to your utility provider and an EV charging installation company.

Our EV charging experts are here to answer any questions you might have about transitioning your fleet of buses to electric. We offer a turn-key EV charging solution that covers, electrical upgrades, products, installation, incentives, and EV charger management. To speak with one of our EV charging experts, call 484-816-2076, email info@apogeecharging.com, or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.

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