FCPS to Add Electric School Buses to Its Fleet

January 16, 2020

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been selected to receive funding assistance to purchase eight electric school buses as part of Dominion Energy’s initial deployment of 50 buses across the Commonwealth. These buses will join FCPS’ current fleet of roughly 1,625 diesel-fueled buses. 

FCPS was chosen in a competitive process after submitting an application with Dominion Energy during Fall 2019.

electric school bus charging
Courtesy of Dominion

Dominion Energy will cover the difference in cost so that school districts pay no more for electric buses than they would for diesel models. Dominion will also subsidize the cost of necessary charging infrastructure.

The School Board’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability are represented in our strategic goals and the work that we are doing with the Board of Supervisors on the Joint Environmental Task Force.” said Karen Corbett Sanders, Fairfax County School Board Chair. “As the largest school division in Virginia, we feel it is critical for us to set an example for our students and our community that we are exploring and implementing as many solutions as possible to combat climate change.” 

Electric school buses in FCPS will benefit not only the school division and its community but the entire national capital area as they will help reduce carbon emissions, serve as a resource for national emergency planning efforts, provide stability and capacity to the grid with meeting increasing energy demands, and provide charging facilities for other jurisdictions in the area to use when traveling through Fairfax County.

School Board Policy 8542 states that FCPS is committed to take innovative and cost-effective steps to help our country achieve climate stabilization. “We prioritize implementation of sustainability initiatives that are innovative and cost effective,” said Corbett Sanders, “This new partnership is part of an exciting movement towards sustainability programs for our facilities and transportation that we continue to explore.” 

The school division participates in several initiatives aimed at reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions including hiring a Get2Green Coordinator to work with classroom teachers on hands-on environmental activities designed to teach students the importance of environmental stewardship.  Other accomplishments include reaching a 35 percent reduction in emissions from natural gas, fuel oil, and electricity consumption of 72,500 metric tons in 2018 compared to 2008 despite an increase of occupied space by approximately 2.2 million square feet (an increase of 9 percent). 

“Adding electric school buses in our fleet is consistent with the environmental focus of Fairfax County and the school division, “said Scott S. Brabrand, FCPS Superintendent. “Before this new partnership, the availability of electric school buses was very limited and cost was prohibitive for school divisions. This exciting new Dominion Energy initiative is moving us forward and is making electric school buses a reality.”

More information is available online from Dominion