British Columbia’s first electric school buses hit the roads this week on Vancouver Island

BC electric school bus
Image via Province of BC

Students on Vancouver Island are the first in British Columbia to catch a ride in an electric school bus.

The B.C. Government announced Thursday that the first of 18 electric school buses is now operating in the Sooke School District. Premier John Horgan says the purchase is the first step for the province to shift from diesel to electric, a move that will help students benefit from a healthier future.

“By shifting gears from diesel to electric school buses, these K-12 students are benefiting from our government’s work to create healthier and more sustainable learning environments across B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “Electric school buses produce zero emissions and also support CleanBC’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by the year 2030, helping build a cleaner, healthier future for all of us.”

In total 13 school districts have purchased electric school buses, all of which will be on the roads before the end of the school year. The 18 buses will transport as many as 1,300 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students every day.

According to a press release, each electric bus costs about $350,000 compared to about $150,000 for a comparable diesel version. Additional funding for the purchase was provided by The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, which allocated $150,000 towards the the capital cost of each bus.

The following school districts have purchased electric buses for 2020-21:

  • SD 5 – Southeast Kootenay (one)
  • SD 6 – Rocky Mountain (one)
  • SD 20 – Kootenay-Columbia (one)
  • SD 22 – Vernon (two)
  • SD 23 – Central Okanagan (3)
  • SD 62 – Sooke (two)
  • SD 67 – Okanagan-Skaha (one)
  • SD 68 – Nanaimo Ladysmith (two)
  • SD 69 – Qualicum (one)
  • SD 73 – Kamloops-Thompson (one)
  • SD 79 – Cowichan Valley (one)
  • SD 84 – Vancouver Island West (one)
  • SD 85 – Vancouver Island North (one)
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