Electric school buses with vehicle-to-grid capability could save school districts millions of dollars while reducing children’s exposure to diesel fumes, according to recent research by the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
The study, A Cost Benefit Analysis of a V2G-Capable Electric School Bus Compared to a Traditional Diesel School Bus, appears in the latest issue of Applied Energy. It examines the cost-effectiveness of electric school buses that discharge their batteries into the electrical grid when not in use and get paid for the service. UD is already testing V2G technology in a pilot project.
According to the study, school buses are a logical application of V2G technology, as they generally travel distances within EV battery range, and sit idle for much of the day.
The researchers analyzed existing bus routes in a mid-sized Delaware school district. They found that a diesel bus costs $110,000, and has an average fuel economy of 6 miles per gallon. An electric bus equipped with a V2G-capable, 70-kilowatt on-board charger costs $260,000, and would save a school district $230,000 over the vehicle’s 14-year lifespan.
While electric buses can be cost-competitive without providing V2G services, adding V2G technology would produce substantially larger savings. Providing V2G services to the local electrical grid would cover the battery charging and additional investment costs, and generate profits, the researchers found.
“The V2G capability is what changes the economics of the school bus,” said study co-author Regina McCormack. “I was surprised,” said lead author Lance Noel. “The savings go through the roof.”
Source: University of Delaware via Green Car Congress
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