Transitioning to an electric school bus fleet comes with several considerations. One of these is the charging infrastructure. If you don’t have enough or the right type of EV chargers, your fleet will experience operational issues.
Here’s a brief look at EV charging needs and how to determine what your fleet needs.
Determining EV Charging Needs
Acquiring electric school buses is only a small part of the process. You also need to pay attention to your fleet’s EV charging needs.
Electric car charging standards vary by make and model, so it’s a good idea to consider your charging infrastructure as you are acquiring the EV school buses.
Some of the aspects to consider include the charger’s features. You also want to look at any installation challenges and the requirements for the site. Remember, the EV’s maximum range needs to exceed the length of the route. You do not want an electric bus battery running out of power with a full load of students onboard.
The daily energy needs of your fleet will help you determine the type and number of EV chargers. You also want to look at the amount of time an EV charger takes to repower the battery. Level 2 AC chargers typically meet most EV school bus fleet needs. They are not as fast as level 3 DC fast chargers, but the buses also have plenty of downtimes. Level 2 chargers are also more cost-effective than DC fast charging stations.
Electric Bus Charging Station Requirements
Determining your electric fleet’s charging needs is reliant on two metrics. The distance, in mileage, the EV bus travels and how long it sits at the school depot. A good measurement to use is most electric school buses consume around 1.5 kilowatts per hour for every mile traveled.
The daily energy needs for your fleet are typically recouped during the down periods. Some fleets are idle while school is in session, giving you time to recharge their batteries before the afternoon route. You also have the opportunity to charge the buses at night, but make sure the infrastructure is designed so all vehicles can reach the chargers.
Selecting the Right Chargers
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of EV chargers. Level 3 DC chargers, also known as fast chargers, are priced higher than models that use AC power. Since most school districts are on tight budgets, it’s a good idea to look at the slower Level 2 AC chargers.
While Level 1 chargers can meet some electric car charging standards, it will be too slow for EV bus fleets. Typically level 1 chargers are installed in homes, and even home chargers are upgrading to level 2. With overnight charging, most schools are going to want to choose Level 2 chargers for their infrastructure.
Let Apogee Charging Solutions Help with Your Charging Infrastructure
A lot of planning goes into your EV school bus charging infrastructure. What works for one district may not be suitable for yours.
Along with working with your electrical provider, you also want to partner with a trusted EV charging supplier.
If you are ready to take your school bus fleet electrification to the next level, contact Apogee Charging Solutions today to see how we can help. To speak with one of our EV charging experts, call 484-816-2076, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.