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No electric buses for South East Cornerstone due to high costs

Remain far more expensive than traditional buses
school bus getty
School buses were discussed at the February meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division's board.

WEYBURN - The question of perhaps purchasing electric school buses, powered by batteries instead of gasoline, came up for a brief discussion during a presentation from the transportation and facilities team at the Feb. 16 meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division’s board members.

One trustee asked facilities and transportation manager Andy Dobson and transportation supervisor Andy Verhaeghe if the transportation team had looked into the possibilities of adding electrically powered school buses to the fleet.

“I can answer that. Yes we have,” said Dobson.

However, he noted, the base price tag for an electrically powered school bus is currently in the $600,000 bracket per bus.

“Their range is about 450 kilometres under ideal weather conditions,” he added.

“You would be cutting that range to less than half in the winter,” said Subdivision 3 (Redvers, Carnduff and Carievale) trustee Jim Henderson, in responding to Dobson’s response to the question.

The transportation team nodded in agreement.

“I expect that to replace a battery in one of those would probably be around $100,000 too,” Henderson added with a chuckle.

With that information on hand, there was no motion forthcoming from any board member to have SECPSD venture any further down the path of electric school bus purchases in the immediate future.

It became obvious rather quickly that this would have to be a topic for another board meeting well down the road.

The wheels on the bus may go round and round, but the price of this bus goes up, up, up.