New electric school buses for South Burlington students

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2022

Media Contact:
GMP: Kristin Carlson (802) 229-8200
Highland Electric: Alison Mickey (202) 316-9891
South Burlington School District: Corey Burdick (802) 598-0086
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: Stephanie Brackin (802) 261-0606

South Burlington, Vt. – South Burlington students will be riding to school pollution-free this year, thanks to four new electric buses that have joined the school district’s fleet. Innovative vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bus chargers will also allow the buses to provide stored energy to the grid during energy peaks which further reduces carbon emissions and costs for all Green Mountain Power (GMP) customers across Vermont.

Green Mountain Power

Electric school bus

“We are excited to be able to offer our students the opportunity to ride on emissions-free transportation for the first time in our District’s history, ” Communications Coordinator Corey Burdick said, “We will have two electric buses on route this fall with two more anticipated soon. This initiative furthers the district’s goals around climate change mitigation and is in alignment with the ways we have been partnering with the city on renewable energy. We are grateful to our local partners who helped make this a reality and can’t wait to see our students’ reactions on the first day of school!”

To help fund the project, the District received a grant in the amount of $965,000 through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation with funding from Vermont’s Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funds. GMP provided additional incentives toward the buses and V2G chargers based on the amount of carbon emissions the project is expected to reduce – the equivalent of taking 905 gas powered cars off the road.

“We are pleased to apply Volkswagen Settlement funding towards taking steps in providing cleaner air and a brighter future for Vermont’s students,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner John Beling. “The electric school buses deployed in South Burlington will reduce the risk of exposure to harmful diesel emissions for the students, bus drivers, schools, and communities they serve.”

South Burlington school officials did not have to become energy experts to do this project, because Highland Electric Fleets provides all the equipment and services needed to implement the project and keep the buses running smoothly, making the upgrade to electric simple and affordable.

“By removing the upfront cost and complexity, Highland helps school districts across the country upgrade to electric buses that can reliably transport students and also provide power to local electric grids during periods of peak demand,” said Ben Schutzman, vice president of fleet operations at Highland. “We are excited to work with South Burlington and Green Mountain Power to deliver cleaner transportation for students, a better experience for drivers, and a more resilient grid for the community.”

GMP provided $55,000 in financial incentives to help South Burlington switch from fossil fuel through its Business Innovation program, which is open to all GMP business customers. The District will also share energy with the grid during peak energy use times, like heat waves, through V2G chargers and GMP’s groundbreaking Flexible Load Management program, which is proving that buildings and buses can serve as batteries to help reduce costs and carbon directly for customers during energy peaks.

“Vehicle-to-grid is an important part of our growing network of stored energy which is delivering results now for Vermont by saving millions in costs for customers while cutting carbon and making communities more resilient,” said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO who also serves on the Electric School Bus Advisory Council for the World Resources Institute. “We’re so proud that Vermont is leading the way in this critical energy transition and that more Vermont students can travel to school with cleaner air.”

You can check out one of the buses for yourself at SoBu NiteOut* on Thursday, August 25 from 5-8 pm at Veterans Memorial Park. Representatives from the School District, GMP, Highland and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will be there to answer questions. Pictures of the buses and chargers are also attached.

What: Electric School Buses at SoBu NiteOut *
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 1000 Dorset Street, South Burlington
When: August 25, 5-8 pm

* Weather dependent!

About the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is charged with oversight and management of Vermont’s natural environment on behalf of the people of Vermont. We endeavor to draw from and build upon Vermonters’ shared ethic of responsibility for our natural environment, an ethic that encompasses a sense of place, community and quality of life, and an understanding that we are an integral part of the environment, and that we must all be responsible stewards for this and future generations. https://anr.vermont.gov/.

About the South Burlington School District
The South Burlington School District is a PreK-12 public school system of about 2600 students located in South Burlington, VT. SBSD’s mission is to graduate students who have achieved our districts ends of disposition for lifelong learning, academic proficiency, personal development, and citizenship. At SBSD, we inspire all learners to make a difference in the world. To learn more, visit: www.sbschools.net.

About Highland Electric Fleets
Highland Electric Fleets is the leading provider of fleet electrification-as-a-service in North America. Founded in 2018, Highland offers a unique suite of products that make it simple and affordable for school districts, governments, and fleet operators to upgrade to electric fleets today. By partnering with Highland, communities can improve local health, stabilize fuel costs, lower carbon emissions, eliminate noise pollution, and support grid resiliency with commercial vehicle-to-grid solutions. Active in 30 states and Canada, Highland is responsible for the largest electric school bus deployment in the United States. To learn more, visit https://highlandfleets.com.

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves approximately 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont with electricity that’s 100% carbon free and 68% renewable, and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is providing solutions to cut carbon and is delivering electricity that is clean, affordable, and always on. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2022, GMP was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential Companies. Fast Company named GMP one of the top five Most Innovative Companies in North America in 2022. GMP also earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list in the energy sector four years in a row, and in 2021 the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation.

Image courtesy of Green Mountain Power
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11 thoughts on “New electric school buses for South Burlington students

  1. “Emission free ride” as stated in the news. These busses with batteries the whole length of the vehicle just magically happened and landed in Burlington. Right out of the gate they spin a lie. They will burn wood (biofuel for the Orwellian crowd) to charge the damn thing and all the fossil fuels it took to mine, manufacture and ship components from all over the world and deliver it here. Then there’s the manufacturing plant that built it. Like fairy dust and unicorns, the magic of EVs is no different and our children will be indoctrinated as a result.

  2. The electric busses will have issues transporting kids safely at at 20 below zero. The electricity for them comes from BTV Plant, which burns WOOD CHIPS. Wood chips, in case indoctrinated fools don’t know? Wood chips are made by cutting down forests. Cutting down forests reduces the forest’s ability to absorb CO2??. So for all intents, BTV electriity INCREASES CO2 becase they cut so many tree’s down (to BURN) that absorb it? THEN? SMOKE IS SMOKE…scrubbers or not…such massive wood burning releases some gasses into the AIR…and that causes atmospheric POLLUTION – and thus…the dreaded – CLIMATE CHANGE?

    Have ya’ ever met anyone dumber than a Vermont Progressive, Liberal, Enviro? nope.

    • Jeffrey Green, what those dumb Vermont Progressives are really is nothing but Useful Idiots carrying out what we all know is an agenda.

  3. Well at least something is going right in Burlington.. the clean air is even more clean now.
    People are starving, going homeless, turning to prostitution and dying from overdoses, murders or suicide..
    But at least you have your electrical magic buses.

  4. There have been many electric cars that have caught fire, blown up, and also will not start in the below zero weather that Vt has… No way in he$$ would I allow my kids/grandchildren to ride in an Electric bus. they are not safe… The damn battery goes the whole length of the vehicle. !!!!

  5. So, students will travel to school pollution free, only to have their young minds polluted when they arrive.

  6. What a boondoggle. Didn’t they watch The Simpsons? Oh, they were doing their homework learning the fake “science” that can not account for the actual energy and materials used making huge batteries, and the toxic waste they will produce when they stop working. Not to mention the energy wasted, because batteries can not produce the same amount of energy that went into charging them.
    The electricity to charge them just comes from wires, we don’t know how it gets there. It’s like tap water, it’s just there.
    There’s such fakeness and idiocy today, it’s hard to tell if they are deliberately lying or are just stupid.
    People with degrees and stuff, the ones who get these jobs.
    They are the marching morons and they are destroying EVERYTHING.

  7. Although diesel fumes are a health concern, there are far more economical ways to eliminate the threat: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Reducing+fumes+from+diesel+buses.-a0126755116

    In the dead of winter, your kids will most likely want to wear the best thermal protection you can afford for their ride to school in the morning (some 1-to-2-hours long) to reduce the threat of hypothermia.

    Knowing the batteries these buses require are much larger than a typical passenger vehicle and will need to be replaced every 4 to 5 years (at best), where will the discarded toxic components be stored? Currently, only 5% of EV batteries are recycled.

    Why did the decision makers reject other alternative fuel equipment such as LNG/LPG?

    Why did the article state “students will be riding to school pollution-free” when in fact the excess demand for the electricity to recharge them will most likely come from carbon burning plants? Not to mention the pollution caused by the production of the batteries and the pollution caused by recycling or even storage of the discarded batteries.

    Or are we to expect rolling blackouts in the dead of winter during peak demand?

  8. Not a word about the all in turnkey capital cost of having this change in school bus fleet

    Did it cost 2 to 3 times as much to have the electric bus set-up, instead of 4 clean diesel buses

  9. Re: “GMP is providing solutions to cut carbon and is delivering electricity that is clean, affordable, and always on.”

    ‘Affordable’??? Here are the most expensive electricity costs per kwh by State.
    Hawaii 34.43
    Alaska 21.99
    Connecticut 20.8
    Massachusetts 20.6
    California 19.44
    New York 17.34
    New Hampshire 18.9
    Rhode Island 18.2
    Vermont 17.9
    Maine 16.3

    Louisiana, Washington, and Arkansas electricity users pay less than 10.0 cents per kwh.

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