Nowadays, from the 480,000 U.S. school buses transporting over 25 million children daily only 1,800 of them are electric, representing 0.375%. Blink Charging announced Wednesday the continued work with school districts in the U.S. to deploy more Blink EV chargers towards the electrification of the school bus fleets. So far, the charging company has already sold (or deployed) nearly 400 Level 2 chargers in 14 states at educational facilities.
John Hipchen, Executive Director, Electric School Bus Coalition, said the the adoption of electric bus will bring results in “reduced maintenance costs, improve rider comfort and limiting overall environmental footprints”.
In late January, the Chinese automaker BYD launched its second electric bus model meant to transport 30 students offering a range of 140 miles. At the heart of the BYD Type A is its lithium iron phosphate battery, the safest and most reliable in the electric vehicle industry, the company stated amid the launch.
With the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Biden administration committed $5 billion to the production of environmentally cleaner school buses. Half of these funds have been earmarked specifically for electric school buses, Blink said.
“At a time when fuel diesel prices are at an all-time high and we are seeing a global shift towards electric vehicles, it only makes sense, both economically and environmentally, that our nations school bus fleets follow suit,” stated Michael Farkas founder and CEO at Blink.
“The move toward increasing the number of electric school buses would significantly impact the environment for the better and provide relief to districts and fleets during a time of economic uncertainty.
We are pleased to see the Biden administration taking such bold action on cleaner transportation for schools with the passing of the IIJA that will get more electric school buses on the roads,” Farkas added.
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Additionally, the EPA will also award school districts $500 million through their Clean School Bus (CBS) rebates. This increase in funding will naturally lead to a greater demand for electric vehicle charging equipment to power their buses.
Under IIJA, electric school bus chargers are an eligible expense and this is in addition to the $7.5 billion that the IIJA set aside for electric vehicle infrastructure along U.S. interstates, the company noted.
“There is no doubt to the environmental and economic benefits in moving towards an all-electric school bus fleet. We are seeing much growth across the country in electric bus adoption as districts and fleet operators see results in reduced maintenance costs, improve rider comfort and limiting overall environmental footprints,” said John Hipchen, Executive Director, Electric School Bus Coalition.
Recently, Blink announced that it has been awarded a cooperative purchasing agreement from the Region 1 Planning Council in Northern Illinois. The initial plan estimates up to 700 charging stations to be installed over the 10 years signed on the agreement.
In June, the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire SemaConnect, a leading provider of EV charging infrastructure solutions in North America. The company reached a deal for $200 million and will now add nearly 13,000 EV chargers to Blink’s existing footprint, an additional 3,800 site host locations, and over 150,000 registered EV driver members.