Arlington to Add First Electric School Buses for a Cleaner Fleet

Published on August 19, 2021

Arlington is climbing aboard the Clean School Bus Program.

Arlington Public Schools (APS), working collaboratively with the County's Department of Environmental Services (DES), will receive a $795,000 grant from the state, to be spent on three fully electric buses (EV buses) that will replace three with diesel engines.

The EV vehicles, each with a capacity of some 65 passengers, will be equitably assigned to routes throughout Arlington.

Currently there are no EV buses in the APS fleet of 200. The vehicles slated for replacement each travel some 8,000 miles a year.

The DES Equipment Bureau acquires and maintains all vehicles operated by the County government and APS.

The grant announcement was made Thursday by Governor Ralph Northam as part of a push to electrify government fleets across the Commonwealth. Two members of the APS transportation team were in attendance in Richmond for the announcement.

Thursday's awards involve 19 school districts and a total of 83 diesel buses to be replaced by electric or propane types.

Funding for the grant comes from the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust, intended to provide the state with about $93 million to mitigate the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions caused by VW's use of illegal emissions testing defeat devices in certain VW diesel vehicles.

The County is currently assessing various EV school bus manufacturers and models for performance and safety characteristics and capacity for low-emissions transportation.

Arlington is recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability efforts.