Educational Collaborative In Western Mass Gets Funding For Electric School Buses

Educational Collaborative In Western Mass Gets Funding For Electric School Buses

The Lower Valley Pioneer Education Group in West Springfield has received public funding for 25 new electric school buses and a charging station. This is a view of their transport complex in Agawam. (Don Trigger / Republican) 12/26/2022 © Don Trigger | dtreeger/masslive.com/TNS Lower Valley Pioneer Education Group in West Springfield received mass funding for 25 new electric school buses and charging stations. This is a view of their transport complex in Agawam. (Don Trigger / Republican) 12/26/2022

WEST OF SPRINGFIELD – With two recent grants, Lower Valley Pioneer Education Cooperative will begin adding an electric option to its fleet of diesel-powered school buses.

According to executive director Roland R. Joyal, Jr. The money will be used to build a charging station and buy 25 new electric buses.

The Lower Valley Pioneer Education Group in West Springfield has received public funding for 25 new electric school buses and a charging station. This is a view of their transport complex in Agawam. (Don Trigger / Republican) 12/26/2022 © Don Trigger | dtreeger/masslive.com/TNS Lower Valley Pioneer Education Group in West Springfield received mass funding for 25 new electric school buses and charging stations. This is a view of their transport complex in Agawam. (Don Trigger / Republican) 12/26/2022

"We're the only electric bus adopter in Western Massachusetts, and we're excited to be a leader in that," Joyal said.

There are currently 240 diesel trucks in the cooperative fleet, some of which are more than 10 years old.

The state grant follows an October announcement by the US Environmental Protection Agency that LPVEC Education Corp. has given nearly $10 million to electric school buses.

In an Oct. 26 statement, EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash said five grants to the Massachusetts school district for electric school buses "focused largely on reducing air pollution in areas with negative historical contexts." Priority Community”.

Based in West Springfield, LPVEC supports seven schools in the Pioneer Valley, such as providing educational programs for students with special needs. In addition, the program provides transportation services with yellow school buses.

Recent Government Commitments and Funding This is part of efforts to accelerate decarbonization by 2050. On December 22, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced a series of grants totaling more than $100 million.

"By making these important funds available, we will better position the Commonwealth to achieve a clean energy transition," Baker said in a statement. "Having laid the groundwork for the Clean Energy and Climate Plan 2050 and signing important climate legislation, we must continue to take constructive steps to build a strong and sustainable Commonwealth."

According to Joyal, the funds received from Energina's Environmental Protection Department will be used to pay for three charging station garages, electrical wiring and consulting services for all the work.

The coalition currently meets weekly and works with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, local energy and power companies, and the Department of Public Works.

The new electric buses should be ordered by April and should arrive in late 2023 or early 2024, said Joyal.

As soon as 25 electric buses arrive, the cooperative will reject old diesel cars.

"Most of the buses are 10 years old and are no longer operating," said Joyal.

Each electric bus is expected to sell for around $375,000, which is more than $100,000 to buy a diesel car.

Joyal doubts the price of electric vehicles will fall as more companies build vehicles and more people have access to them.

Joyal said the buses will help seven school districts meet their district's emission targets by going zero emissions and zero emissions.

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