Proposed Electric School Bus Pilot Program Aims to Help Maryland’s Climate Goals
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Proposed Electric School Bus Pilot Program Aims to Help Maryland’s Climate Goals

Image of a school bus sign on the back of an electric bus clipped high and showing the sky
  • Potomac Edison is advancing Maryland’s environmental goals with a five-year Electric School Bus Pilot Program.
  • Potomac Edison offers incentives and reimbursements for school districts to acquire and deploy ESBs.
  • The program includes assessments of grid capacity and other technical and administrative support.

FirstEnergy Corp.’s subsidiary, Potomac Edison, is advancing Maryland’s environmental objectives with its innovative five-year Electric School Bus Pilot Program proposal to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). This initiative aims to accelerate the state’s journey toward a greener future by aligning with the Maryland Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022. This act mandates that all new school buses contracted or purchased by public school systems must be zero-emission. 


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Meeting Climate and Administrative Goals With Electric School Bus Pilot Program

Image care of FirstEnergy Corp.

The pilot program supports Maryland’s climate goals by replacing traditional diesel buses with electric alternatives. It promises a cleaner, healthier commute for students, reducing their exposure to air pollutants and fostering a more sustainable transportation ecosystem for future generations.

Potomac Edison is committed to providing robust support beyond mere advocacy to facilitate the shift to electric school buses (ESBs) in its Maryland service area. Recognizing the financial hurdle often associated with such transitions, the company offers tangible economic incentives to assist school districts in procuring and implementing ESBs. 

Moreover, the Potomac Edison power company will allocate resources for reimbursements that cover essential EV charging infrastructure and IT-related expenses, thus alleviating the additional costs that school districts would otherwise bear. Understanding the significance of a reliable energy supply in this equation, the company will also conduct thorough assessments of the local grid’s capacity, ensuring that the electric system can sustainably support the operation of ESBs.

Potomac Edison complements these initiatives with its commitment to providing comprehensive technical and administrative support and handling all expenses and logistics involved in connecting the ESBs to the company’s electric grid, thereby solidifying the infrastructure for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.


Supportive Funding for Safe Maryland Buses

Image care of FirstEnergy Corp.

The public school districts participating in the electric school bus pilot program will receive funding that reduces the cost difference between an electric school bus and a diesel-fueled bus. The new electric buses will also be equipped with lap and shoulder safety belts for students to comply with a new state safety law.

The electric school bus program follows the PSC’s consent to extend Potomac Edison’s electric vehicle program EV Driven, initially approved in 2019. The EV Driven program helps make EV ownership and charging easier and more accessible throughout Maryland.


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SOURCE | FEATURE IMAGE: FIRST ENERGY | ELEMENT5 DIGITAL

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AUTHOR: 

BILL PIERCE

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