Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away, and students and staff at West Fargo Public Schools (WFPS) have something extra to be thankful for this year.
Last week, the West Fargo School Board awarded bids to Hartley's School Buses for the purchase of a Blue Bird all-electric school bus. The bus will be the first of its kind in North Dakota, and will be funded through a partnership of WFPS, the North Dakota Department of Commerce (State Energy Program), the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future, Cass County Electric Cooperative and Minnkota.
Although a new electric bus has a higher upfront cost, it is expected to be more cost effective than a traditional bus over the course of its lifetime. The district anticipates an annual savings of $2,500 in diesel costs and $1,800 in maintenance costs with the purchase of the electric bus.
The school district will be comparing the costs of the electric school bus to two diesel-powered school buses that will be put into service at the same time. A long-term analysis of the operational and maintenance costs of the electric bus will provide data to assist future school bus purchasing decisions regarding the most cost-effective fuel sources for the district's fleet.
The bus, which has a 160-kilowatt-hour battery capacity and an estimated range of 120 miles, is expected to arrive in the spring of 2019.
For bus specifications and the latest updates on this new addition to the West Fargo fleet, please visit the WFPS website.