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Get EV Ready Checklist: Your New Electric School Bus Fleet

Last Updated: August 2nd, 2023 | Fleet

Future school buses are just around the corner; more and more campuses are upgrading their school bus fleets to new electric-powered models that are quiet, sustainable, and budget-friendly. Today, let’s outline a five-step checklist to get ready for electric school buses. If you want to know more about why green school buses are becoming more popular and how electric bus charging actually works, check out our previous blog that answers all your questions about EV school bus fleets here.

1) Searching for Programs/Rebates

The very first step for providing an electric vehicle charging service on campus is to search for eligible incentives and funding programs. EV adoption is a growing market, but it is still in the early stages of development. That means more support for early developers of necessary charging infrastructure. North American students still get the iconic yellow school bus experience through electric fleets. Discover grants for school bus transportation, prepare your applications with expert advice, and install the best hardware to suit your needs.

For example, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program has millions of dollars in available funding for clean school bus models. Additionally, the program helps fund the EV bus chargers. There are other focused rebate programs that fund local districts, counties, or communities. Noodoe experts can help you find, apply for, and achieve such opportunities.

2) Purchasing School Buses

Doing your homework is always a good idea when you’re making a big decision. If you know what other people think, it helps you figure out what you need. When it’s time to upgrade your school bus fleet, you can start with a few electric buses before switching over completely. If you’ve done well in the step before this, the money you got approved could go towards buying new buses from approved manufacturers, as well as the charging stations they need.

Leading manufacturers, such as Thomas Built Buses, have redirected years of experience with school, commercial, and childcare buses to develop sustainable electric-powered models. For example. the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley is tested and compatible with Noodoe EV chargers

3) Installing E-bus Charging Stations

Now we delve into the daily requirements of EV-supporting schools, namely the installation and management of EV charging stations. Introducing new school bus models to your fleet will still require the best charging stations that suit budget, power capacity, and schedule requirements. Funding requirements or approved clean bus models can affect your final decision. You will need an AC or DC power EV charger to keep transporting students.

This hardware is physically smaller and has lower operating costs; they are the best choice for personal EV models with longer idle times and overnight charging sessions. An AC station can fully charge electric school buses over 5.5 – 11 hours (depending on output/ battery capacity).

With great power comes faster charging times; DC power is perfect for EV fleets that have shorter breaks between scheduled routes and guarantee a bus is ready to go at a moment’s notice. A DC station can fully charge electric school buses over 1 – 4.5 hours (depending on output/ battery capacity).

4) Practice Makes Perfect

You’ve got your funding, bought your electric school buses, and set up charging stations. Now, it’s time to take it for a spin! Start with the new e-bus driving on a regular pick-up route. Bring some willing students and teachers along for the ride! This trip will help you understand how much energy a typical route needs and the bus’s range.
Once you’re back on campus, you can see how long charging needs and how much power it uses. This is important to help track bills. With Noodoe’s EV Operating System, managing your school bus fleet’s switch to electric is easy. Sure, new technology can be scary. With a bit of training from the Noodoe experts, dealing with EV charging will be just another part of the day.

5) Looking After Your New Electric Fleet

Long-term low operational costs are a major factor in transitioning to school bus fleets that are efficient, futureproof, and the best choice for all users. Electric vehicles have fewer moving engine parts; they simply don’t need the constant maintenance or expensive repairs of their diesel equivalents. Automatic checks of the charging assets are done regularly by Noodoe EV OS; the self-repair feature takes care of problems without human intervention. 

In short, drivers keep track of their own schedules for driving and charging while Noodoe takes care of the charging experience.

The Bottom Line

Your buses are fully charged by Noodoe, the pick-up/drop-off routes confirmed, and the new EV school day is ready to begin! Your buses quietly move through neighborhoods while simultaneously reducing air pollution for healthier, happier communities.
Choose Noodoe as your partner in electric school bus charging. We equip you with the best high-powered stations, user-friendly fleet management software, and 24/7 support to get you planning, driving, charging, and beyond.

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