Children and teachers have gone back to school but with a new twist. In some West Virginia counties, school districts have been testing a new pilot program to use electric school buses rather than ones running off of fossil fuels. The first three counties that are a part of this program are Cabell, Kanawha, and Mercer County. This program has been done in alliance with the West Virginia Department of Education, Governor Jim Justice, and the West Virginia Department of economic Development. One bus was given to each county, along with EV charging infrastructure to charge the buses. Another is on the way to give Clay County the same type of services.
EV school buses are still a new concept for local school districts due to all of the considerations administrators needs to think through such as EV range, infrastructure needs and finances. Schools need to ensure that the buses have enough range to be able to get to their locations for drop off, pickup and field trips. Districts also have to have a place for the buses to stop and charge, weather that be at the schools themselves or a designated place to charge where the buses are parked. Wherever the buses park, there needs to be an EV charging infrastructure installed. The combination of the infrastructure, amount of power used to charge the buses and maintenance needs are major factors when going over the financial aspect of electric school buses.