EV School Buses: EV Range

August 4, 2022
ev school bus range

In this article, we’ll take a look at the electric bus range and battery efficiency. You’ll learn how to analyze your routes to determine if electric buses are the right choice for your school.

How Long Do Buses Run?

How long an electric bus runs depends on a few factors that extend beyond the route and battery technology. While the length of the route is a consideration, so is the terrain and number of stops the bus makes along the way. Passenger load is something else to consider. The weather can also affect battery life.

Electric buses are a good option for most school districts. The routes rarely vary, and the fleet has plenty of time to charge during the day and at night.

Analyzing Electric Bus Range

The best way to determine EV range is by conducting a route analysis. Using log data that includes everything from the route length to the load and weather to create a model can indicate how much energy the EV battery consumes. It lets you know the battery capacity necessary to safely complete the route.

You can also use the data to determine the operational costs that are typically lower than what is needed to keep a fossil-fuel-powered fleet up and running. Some EV bus manufacturers may supply the necessary data to help ensure your fleet is ready for the school year.


plug 1Did you know this is part three of an electric school bus series? In the first article we start with a basic introduction to EV school buses, in article two you will find a review of how to work with your utility company, 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


An EV Range Analysis Example

An example of an electric bus range is to look at a route that is 100 miles, and the battery retains 80% of its electric capacity. How much energy is left in the battery when the bus returns to the depot? The amount of remaining power will help you determine the optimal battery size.

Energy efficiency is determined in kilowatt-hours per mile. If the route is more demanding, meaning there are hills or rougher terrain, the battery will use more energy.

Summarizing Electric Bus Range

EV range is crucial for establishing an electric school bus fleet. You do not want the bus running out of power when it is carrying a load of students.

Several factors go into determining battery range including route length and terrain. The weather can be another factor. Is the EV bus running its heater or air conditioning? These systems require electricity from the battery that can shorten the amount of time it is on the road.

What about the load? Heavier loads require more energy to power the bus. Other factors include the number of stops. The more frequently the bus stops and starts the more energy it uses. Driver capability also affects battery range.

Charging Electric Buses with Apogee Charging Solutions

To ensure optimal efficiency and range, these are all factors to include in your EV range analysis. Don’t forget, that some EV bus manufacturers have existing models that can help you choose the right battery size for your fleet.

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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