A key enabler of broad electric bus adoption
Many school bus fleet owners want to electrify, but the high upfront cost and concerns about installing charging infrastructure are slowing down adoption.
AN ELEGANT SOLUTION:
There is a technology, called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging, that optimizes bus charging through “bidirectional charging”, allowing for the buses to charge their batteries during off-peak energy demand hours and to store unused energy to resell back to the grid at hours of peak demand. Reselling power back to the grid for a higher price than purchased generates income and so reduces the school’s cost of owning an electric school bus.
It also supports the introduction by utilities of additional renewable energy sources such as wind and solar as alternatives to fossil fuel power plants, since they can have an effective storage solution- the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, so having on-demand storage of electricity for those periods, in the form of large school bus batteries spread across their territories, can help utilities more quickly transition to renewable power sources.
CASE STUDY- THE V2G TURNKEY SOLUTION
I have been working with V2G companies that utilize the revenue generated from the buses to dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership of an electric bus. In return for keeping all the income from selling electricity back to the grid, they offer schools a deeply discounted price for the bus. They also offer a simple turnkey solution- in one recent proposal, a company offered a fixed cost per month for a period of 10 years and provided the school with:
A brand new electric bus
Installation of all the charging station equipment, known as EVSE- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
Full service and maintenance of the bus and the EVSE
Full warranty on the bus
The V2G model can allow for the total cost of ownership for an electric bus to be similar to that of a diesel bus, even before applying for government grants and subsidies. In some cases, the grants can pay for 100% of the purchase. Click here to see my page on grant opportunities to learn more about the application process.