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In 2019, the WUSD Transportation Department in close partnership with the Lion Electric Company and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District developed a comprehensive plan to deploy the first four (4) in a series of zero-emission electric school buses. 

The plan is to have 12 out of the 30 buses in the Washington Unified fleet that serve the local community, roughly half the fleet, go completely electric within the next few years. For longer range buses in the fleet, the district will look at transitioning to cleaner emission liquid propane buses. The four all-electric buses, which cost about $440,000 each, are more than three times the price of a new diesel bus with modern pollution controls.

You might be wondering how WUSD is paying for these new buses? That’s the best part, the cost to the school district is approximately $80,000 per bus, roughly half the cost of a new diesel bus. This amazing deal is made possible through the California Air Resources Board - California Climate Investment Incentives Fund aimed at improving the air quality throughout communities and limiting children’s exposure to harmful exhaust from older buses.

Charging the bus does take several hours, but the WUSD Transportation yard has already been equipped with the stations to do so. Drivers can simply pull into the bus yard, plug-in, and go home for the night. One single charge gives a bus the capacity to cover 125 miles, which is more than enough to cover the daily school bus routes in West Sacramento. 

The all-electric buses are also uniquely different than a traditional bus fleet because of their bright blue bumpers and wheels but also because they play music. There are no more loud diesel engines when the buses are moving therefore, these silent giants play a friendly tune when approaching intersections letting pedestrians know they are approaching. 

In the long run, the benefit to the WUSD is exponential as the electric buses will cost about 75 percent less to fuel through the use of smart chargers to power up during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. And, with far fewer moving parts, they will cost 60 percent less to maintain. So, cost effective, energy efficient and cleaner air for our community at half the cost of a traditional bus - way to go WUSD!
Lion electric buses
lion electric bus plugged into charging station
front grill of lion electric bus
lion electric bus bumper
drivers seat of lion electric bus