Mapleton School District receives nearly $400,000 to buy an electric bus

MAPLETON, N.D. (KVRR) – Five billion dollars from the infrastructure law signed by President Biden last year will be given to schools to buy electric buses.

Two thousand school districts nationwide will get electric buses. Mapleton is one of four in North Dakota to get one as part of the first round of grants totaling $1 billion dollars. The first grants are being given to rural and low income districts.

“North Dakota is one of those places that actually has pretty good air quality, but we can make it even better if we do things like electrify our school buses,” Administrator for the EPA’s Mountains and Plains Region KC Baker said.

The Biden Administration says 95 percent of school buses nationwide use diesel, so they’re trying to make the air cleaner.

“This has the advantage of helping save school budgets, helping clean the air generally and then making sure that the air the kids are breathing every day, because you’re the ones standing near a bus, you’re breathing cleaner air,” Baker said.

Sixth graders at the presentation are excited for the new ride.

“Even when our students left the event, they were already talking about wanting to get an electric car, so they have high hopes of making a difference for the environment moving forward,” Mapleton Superintendent and Principal Jenna Farkas said.

The bus will be able to go 100 miles on one charge.

“What was very appealing for us in applying for an electric bus is the majority of our bus route is an in-town route. The rural route that we run is not very long either, and, so, we feel that the electric bus would be able to meet our needs adequately,” Farkas said.

The bus driver warned kids electric buses are quieter than those powered by gas, so she may be able to hear all their conversations.

All kids, even if they will move to middle school next year, were promised they will get a ride in the electric bus once it’s ready.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News