Electrifying a municipal public transportation system is a no-regret solution that provides significant cost, health, and environmental benefits. According to the US Department of Transportation, every zero emission bus is able to eliminate 1,690 tons of CO2 over its lifespan. Electric buses reduce fuel and maintenance costs by $300,000-350,000 over the lifespan of each bus. 


Buses have predictable schedules and large energy storage capacity opening up opportunities for partnerships with local utilities and making them ideal for electric “Vehicle to Grid” technology. Vehicle to Grid technology enables bus batteries to provide power to the electricity grid while not running, helping to offset demand during peak hours, and increasing resiliency by acting as a stored-energy source during an emergency. And, with proper planning, the fast charging stations used to charge buses during the school year can provide needed fast charging hubs to support EV drivers in case of storm evacuation.   (See section VI. Incentivize EVs to Accelerate Economic Development)

A. Electric Buses in Public Transportation

Transit buses are one of the most effective uses of electric vehicles, saving money, improving riders’ experience, and reducing local air pollution. For example, Greensboro, North Carolina is transitioning its transit buses to electric and will be saving $300,000-350,000 per bus over the lifetime of each vehicle due to dramatically lower maintenance and fueling costs. Additionally, federal cost-share funding for transit buses efficiently leverages local funding. Cost-share funding via the federal Low or No Emission Vehicle Program - 5339(c) and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) for buses efficiently leverages local funding. 



B. School Districts EVs, Charging, and Electric School Buses

School districts have very large potential savings to be realized by electrifying their bus fleets. Electric school buses save on average $50,000 over their lifetime due to low maintenance and fuel costs and significantly reduce children’s exposure to harmful pollutants in diesel exhaust from conventional buses. Additionally, school districts can electrify their light-duty vehicle fleet and provide charging in their parking lots.

C. New and Emerging Shuttle Services with EVs

Many private transportation companies have developed creative electric solutions to address last-mile and local transportation goals. 



D. Consult with Your Local Utility

Your local utility’s plan or policies may encourage and provide financial support for certain types of EVs and vehicle classes.


  • Orlando-LYNX-OUC-Proterra: With Orlando’s assistance, LYNX applied funding from a Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase seven battery electric buses, which will be procured through Proterra Inc. Orlando Utilities Commission assisted in the procurement of charging stations and batteries to help LYNX successfully deploy the project.

  • West Palm Beach-FPL: Florida Power and Light and West Palm Beach partnered on Florida’s first electric school buses. The pilot will explore vehicle to grid technology using the bus batteries and provide data that will inform future applications.