Chickasaw County School District unveils new electric buses

School buses came with no upfront costs to taxpayers

HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) – Some students in the Chickasaw County School District will soon be riding to and from school in new buses, and these won’t be using diesel fuel.

All eleven electric school buses were paid for through an EPA grant. It means big upfront savings for the school district.

“It was around $4.4 million we got in the grant we applied for,” said Superintendent John Ellison.

Each bus can travel 138 miles on one charge. A typical route is 20 to 30 miles.

Ellison said there are other advantages.

“There’s very little maintenance on this bus, rear axle and drive train are pretty much the same as a traditional bus,” Ellison said.

The buses can also recharge as they are being driven.

“Regenerative braking puts a little bit of charge back into the battery when you take your foot off the accelerator. Anticipating stop early. It starts slowing you down so you don’t have to slam on the brakes as much. Brake wear should be a lot less than normal as well,” said Chase Ward, Bus Shop Foreman.

The district will also save money because they don’t have to buy diesel or oil for the electric buses. Those savings will go back into the school district to replace old buses when they are retired.

“Just came at the right time, we had purchased, which is about what we could purchase. Most districts know this. Our bus fleet is getting old. It gave us an opportunity to get new buses. All have heaters, air conditioners, and newer buses,” Ellison said.

The district will roll out the first two electric buses Monday, and continue until all eleven are in use.

The eleven electric buses replace buses that are 20 to 30 years old.

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