Ada-Borup Pursuing Grant for Electric School Bus

Ada-Borup Pursuing Grant for Electric School Bus

October 8, 2020 News -- KRJB-KRJM-KKCQ 0

By Mark Askeson (10/7/20) markkrjb@loretel.net

Ada, MN — Electric School Bus technology is expanding in Minnesota and the Ada-Borup School District is hoping to be a part of the movement. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is investing $3 million in all-electric school buses to combat climate change, improve air quality, and build a cleaner transportation future. As part of the investment, they are launching a new pilot program to help fund electric school buses all across the state and Ada-Borup Transportation Director Shawn Roux says they will be one of the districts going after the grant.

Roux was able to test drive an electric school bus from a company called Lion out of Canada last week. While there were some notable differences, he says it’s still drives and acts like a school bus.    

While Roux admits that repairing an electric school bus may be beyond his expertise, maintaining an electric vehicle is considerably less work.

According to the MPCA, the range of an electric school bus approximately 100 between charges. Roux says he would use the bus for the in town route, which would be well within that range for the day, and possibly some activity use. As for how an electric bus would handle tough Minnesota weathers, Shawn stated that they commonly only lose about 20% battery life.

However, if the district is awarded the grant, one of the requirements is that one of their diesel buses must not only be taken out of commission, but destroyed.

A minimum of six electric bus grants will be awarded and it’s likely two will be awarded in northern Minnesota.