Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses: Vehicle Requirements: Module 3 (Text Version)

This is a text version of the video for Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses: Vehicle Requirements: Module 3.

So welcome to Part 3 of the Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses series, where we will discuss electric school bus vehicle requirements. If you've been following along to Part 3 of the Flipping the Switch series, "Electric School Bus Vehicle Requirements," you'll already know that it consists of three modules. So Module 1 provided information on currently available electric school bus vehicle models and vehicle cost factors. Module 2 discussed how to analyze your vehicle routes to determine if electric is a good option for your fleet, the vehicle range and efficiency considerations. And finally, Module 3, which we are reviewing today, will provide information on incentives, battery life, and other considerations like battery recycling.

Now, let's get started with Module 3 of the "Electric School Bus Vehicle Requirements – incentives, battery life, and other considerations." So as we mentioned, there are some additional factors that should be considered when adopting electric buses, some of which are actually tools and resources to help offset the up-front costs, as we've talked about earlier. One very helpful tool is the Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, where we have a search engine that identifies laws and incentives for electric vehicles, as well as all other types of alternative fuels. These incentives do tend to provide funding opportunities for alternative fuel technologies, so I recommend using it often – especially with the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that just came out, because there will likely be a lot of related incentives to electric vehicles, which is applicable to electric school buses. Here we've shared the web URL, and we've also circled where that tool lives on the website. So once in the tool, you can conduct a search for incentives related to your alternative fuel vehicle. These, again, they may assist in the transition from conventional fuels to the alt vehicle fuel technology.

So here's an example of the content currently available for electric school buses. As you can see, there are multiple sources of incentives, including federal, state, grants, VW settlement funds. Lots of options, so we highly, highly encourage you to visit the Laws and Incentives page to see if there are any opportunities that you may leverage to offset those costs when transitioning to a battery electric bus for your fleet. And this slide is more of a recap of all the things you should consider when adopting electric school buses from more of a holistic viewpoint. So all of these things we've actually reviewed today. And end of life is one that's kind of new, but wanted to make sure we captured, as it is really important to factor in the proper recycling as it assists in the supply chain of critical materials of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, and it avoids further environmental impacts. So we've talked about kind of the assessment process and understanding the route analysis and your duty cycle in order to make sure you fully understand your vehicle range requirements and the vehicle technology that you should consider for procurement in order to meet all of the needs, considering your route and efficiency and all of the other considerations we mentioned today to ensure that your fleet will be properly serviced by the new technology. We've also talked about the infrastructure requirements and how you can plan for that and also optimize utilizing planning and charging and making sure that you have the best low-cost solution for your fleet, deployment, all of the areas and aspects that go along with that, such as the telematics for performance, so you can continue to track the use and operation of your buses and ensure that you are addressing any opportunities for improvement, as well as ensuring that you're providing the proper driver and technician training during deployment of a new technology. And that also kind of relates into the service and support, and making sure that you have the proper training and resources available for deploying the new technology. And then, as I just mentioned again, the end-of-life considerations. So – all things to keep in mind kind of as a life cycle, holistic approach when adopting new technology specific to battery electric buses, in this case.

And just some few additional things to keep in mind is that the electric school bus market is still new, and it's evolving. Considerations for battery electric buses are generally the same as considering other alternative fuel technologies. The decision should be made to best fit the fleet's needs. So help yourselves by planning for the future, understanding your route requirements, and making sure that the technology will meet your needs. Sometimes you may find that the cost for transitioning at that time might not be viable for procurement now, but thinking ahead could help offset those costs in the future. And then, with that, remember to utilize any available incentives and funding opportunities to help offset those costs. And also, with evolving technology in an evolving industry, remember there is limited data, since early adopters are just now seeing sustained results for analysis, and that should be considered when discussing OEM-stated benefits and comparing those to case studies or actual experiences of fleets, too. But it's also exciting. There are innovative opportunities that will continue to pop up and grow, so don't be afraid to take part in those. One that we've heard of recently, related to battery electric buses, is like a battery leasing program. So again, just kind of new areas of opportunities that we encourage you to maybe explore further.

So – other considerations. Life cycle—ensure that the alternative fuel is a good fit, right? Remember that there are other tools and resources available that might help offset some of the initial impacts of converting to a battery electric bus. Don't forget to keep in mind end-of-life impacts, as well, whenever adopting new technology. In the specific case of battery electric bus, this will include recycling or reuse of the lithium-ion battery to support the U.S. supply chain and avoid other environmental impacts. And remember that there's gonna be lots of lessons learned and new data coming out, too. So we've already seen some available case studies that are popping up, and lessons learned, and kinda industry partners. And peer-to-peer learning's always good, so we encourage you to reach out and, again, take advantage of opportunities for new, innovative solutions, too, as the technology continues to evolve. So thank you for listening. That concludes Module 3 of Part 3 of Flipping the Switch series, incentives, battery life, and other considerations. And with that, it concludes all the modules of Part 3 of the series.

All right. Now that you've completed Part 3 of Flipping the Switch series, "Vehicle Requirements," you'll wanna see what's coming next. In the following parts, we'll discuss charging infrastructure; vehicle in-use performance; training, which we'll cover both for drivers and technicians; and finally, cost factors.

And as a reminder, you can find all of the content for the Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses series, including each part of the series and associated modules, as well as handouts with a summary of information and links to all the resources mentioned today, on the Alternative Fuels Data Center's Electric School Bus page.