First electric school buses come to Oregon, bringing fresh air to students

Beaverton School District rolls out the first electric school busses in Oregon. [Beaverton School District video]

The Beaverton School District and Portland General Electric have partnered to bring the first two electric school buses to Oregon. Each vehicle will cut about 52,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. That means students, drivers and neighborhoods will breathe cleaner air and overall air quality will improve.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Fuels Program aims to encourage the use of cleaner fuels, such as electricity, ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable natural gas by providing incentives, or credits, and requirements to create demand for cleaner fuels. PGE’s Electric School Bus Fund raises money through the sale of those credits, which the utility aggregates on behalf of customers who charge their electric vehicles at home.

“We are so grateful to work with partners like PGE and the Beaverton School District to reduce the impacts of climate change and improve air quality,” said Cory-Ann Wind, manager for DEQ’s Clean Fuels Program. “The delivery of these two buses marks the official launch of school bus electrification in Oregon.”

In 2020, PGE’s Electric School Bus Fund also awarded grants for electric buses, charging infrastructure and technical and training support to the Reynolds, Salem-Keizer, Portland and Newberg school districts.

Applications for the 2021 round of Electric School Bus funding open on April 15.

For more details on the Clean Fuels Program, visit our website.

–Susan C. Mills and Dylan Darling, public affairs specialists

Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

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