Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) is pleased to announce it has been awarded $417,500 from the Iowa’s Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust funding. The approved grant funding, distributed via the Iowa Department of Transportation, is for the purchase of two propane and two electric buses with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities.
CRCSD partnered with Alliant Energy on the initiative to seek funds for electric bus purchases. Alliant Energy offered to offset CRCSD’s electric bus costs and charging infrastructure expenses to be equivalent to propane bus purchases. In exchange, the bus batteries’ stored electricity will be made available to residents and businesses, by Alliant Energy, to help with peak energy demand. Additionally, Alliant Energy will be able to further explore vehicle to energy grid technology, while CRCSD obtains the benefit of an expanded, modern bus fleet.
“Alliant Energy is proud to continue our long-standing partnership with the Cedar Rapids Community School District by helping to bring electric school buses to the community, allowing students and the public to benefit from a cleaner environment,” said Chris Tompkins, Key Account Manager at Alliant Energy. “With this project, we are studying new and innovative ways that electric vehicles can create cleaner energy to power communities and keep costs affordable for customers.”
The announcement comes during National Drive Electric Week, September 26-October 4, 2020. The week is dedicated to a nationwide celebration that raises awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and buses.
“Our CRCSD board of directors have shown a growing interest in electric buses and vehicles, however purchase price has been a limiting factor,” said Scott Wing, Transportation Manager at CRCSD. “When Alliant Energy approached us with an opportunity to pilot electric buses for the same purchase cost as new fossil-fueled buses, we were eager to partner on the mutually-beneficial initiative. Operational costs on the electric buses are expected to be much lower than propane and diesel. We can run a variety of scenarios on the electric chassis and determine where our needs are best filled.”