The Challenge: Reduce Barriers to Electrifying School Buses
Despite the long-term savings and health benefits of going electric, school districts face barriers to electrifying their school bus fleets, including:
- Additional upfront costs to purchase buses and associated charging infrastructure
- Coordination with third-party transportation providers for school districts that prefer to lease
- Gaps in technical knowledge necessary to transition from diesel to electric bus operation
- Resource and budget constraints
About ACT School Bus Advisory Services Program
Through the ACT School Bus Advisory Services Program, MassCEC provides free fleet electrification planning support to public school districts across Massachusetts. MassCEC is working with a consultant team to address the gap in technical knowledge impeding school bus fleets from electrifying. The consultants will provide public school districts and third-party school bus fleet operators technical services such as:
- vehicle and charging infrastructure analysis
- feasibility designs
- financial models
- preparing for and applying for future funding opportunities
- vehicle and charging station procurement plans
- educational materials
The goal of the program is to provide school districts with a clear path to school bus electrification. Note that this program does not provide funding to buy electric school buses; rather it provides advisory services at no charge to school districts.
MassCEC's consultant team is led by VEIC, a sustainable energy non-profit, specializing in energy efficiency, building decarbonization, transportation electrification, and developing a clean and flexible grid. To perform this work, VEIC is partnering with PowerOptions, a New England-based non-profit energy consortium that helps its members achieve energy savings and sustainability goals through group procurement and technical assistance programs, and Energetics, a consulting firm that helps public and private entities integrate clean energy technologies and strategies into real-world applications.
Eligible applicants include public school districts in Massachusetts. School districts that work with third-party fleet operators are also encouraged to apply.
Participation in this Advisory Services Program does not preclude school districts from participating in future rounds of MassCEC's Fleet Deployment Program, which provides procurement and construction support for school buses and associated equipment.
Benefits of Participation
School districts will receive a Final Fleet Electrification Plan which will include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Actionable next steps on funding opportunities and applications
- Timeline of required approvals for school bus fleet electrification
- Identification of major stakeholders and their roles in the electrification process
- Identification of vehicles that can be electrified and suggested timing for procurement decisions
- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) recommendations and location recommendations
- Identification and presentation of all costs
- Outline of post-deployment operations (workforce training, charging schedules, maintenance, etc.)
If your district is seeking funding for assistance with installation of charging stations and operation of electric school buses, please see our electric school bus fleet deployment program. Not sure which program is right for you? See ACT School Bus Overview.
Interested in participating?
Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through Spring 2023.
Fill Out Interest Form
Interest Form Follow-Ups or Potential Interviews
Rolling, beginning May 2023
School District Selection
Rolling, beginning June 2023
Advisory Services Begin and Letters of Commitment Signed
Ongoing, beginning June 2023
Final Fleet Electrification Plan and Presentation
6 months from selection
The responsibilities and expectations of each of the program participants are summarized below, and may not be exhaustive.
- Participate in a kickoff call, monthly meetings, and quarterly meetings with the advisory consultant, MassCEC and other relevant stakeholders
- Provide baseline fleet assessment data, e.g., fleet size and makeup, route data and schedules, current fuel types and costs
- Lead efforts to engage with all relevant stakeholders, e.g., local utility, school district officials, third-party fleet operators
- Engage directly with the school district to request baseline fleet data information
- Provide assessments (e.g., site assessments, charging and infrastructure needs assessments, etc.) that inform decision-making options for school bus fleets
- Conduct several analyses, including a vehicle needs analysis and an emissions reduction analysis, to guarantee electric fleet recommendations meet needs of school district
- Evaluate technical and financial data to complete an individualized Fleet Electrification Roadmap
- Participate in meetings with the Advisory Consultant and the school district
- Record and share lessons learned between school districts
- Retain the Advisory Consultant