Portland, Ore. — Today, Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) announced the launch of its electric school bus program that will help up to four school districts in the region start their transition to transportation that is cleaner, quieter and more cost-effective to operate.
Funded by the sale of Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits, PGE will return the value of the credits to local communities by providing funding and technical assistance for these school districts to adopt electric school buses.
“Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the state, making an electrified transportation system critical to a low-carbon future,” said John McFarland, PGE vice president and chief customer officer. “PGE is committed to supporting an electric transportation system that serves everyone, and this program extends the benefits to students and the neighborhoods where they live.”
Funds will be provided in the form of a grant to pay for the incremental costs of the electric buses, along with the equipment and installation of the necessary charging infrastructure. Additionally, PGE will provide technical assistance to help schools make the transition, including site assessments, cost-benefit analysis, vehicle and charger selection support, and driver and mechanic training. In return, participating school districts will work with PGE to share their insights and learnings with other school districts interested in electrifying their bus fleets.
“The data is clear: Oregon cannot meaningfully address climate change without dramatically reducing carbon emissions from vehicles,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “Electrification of our transportation network is a key component of my climate policy agenda . State partnerships and innovative investments like this one between the Oregon Clean Fuels Program and PGE will help ensure that these new electric school buses are carrying our children into a brighter, cleaner future.”
This program is part of a larger initiative at PGE to invest its Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits in ways that help make electric transportation available to everyone. In addition to the electric school bus program, PGE established the Drive Change Fund, which will award $1.75 million in grants early next year for projects that expand access to electric transportation in the area. PGE is also increasing access to its Electric Avenue charging stations and conducting public outreach to raise awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles.
School districts that overlap with PGE’s service area can apply for a School Bus Electrification Project grant. The application is available now and submissions are due Jan. 31, 2020. PGE aims to have electric school buses on the road by the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. PGE will look for diversity across the portfolio of selected participants, such as geographical location, pupil transportation business models and school district size to maximize the value of the project for the region.