SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted

Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Kootenay Columbia School District 20 has welcomed its first electric bus to the district fleet.

The new bus has been going through some trial runs this week and SD20 drivers are learning how to operate it. The district expects to have it fully integrated into a Castlegar-area route for the beginning of the next school year.

Charging infrastructure has been installed at the SD20 maintenance facility in Castlegar where the bus will be charged each night.

The new bus can go about 220 kilometres on a full charge. It has regenerative brakes, so that range can be extended depending on how much energy is recaptured.

The new bus is much quieter than its diesel counterparts, so you may not even notice it as it approaches. Because it is so quiet, the bus has been equipped with a noise maker feature that gives off a subtle engine noise at slower speeds to alert people that there is a vehicle nearby.

Brian Witherspoon has been driving the bus around the area to test its features and its performance. He says another thing that is noticeable in the electric bus is the lack of vibrations. Without an engine, the ride is much smoother.

He says the regenerative braking takes some getting used to, but that once you have it figured out it is actually easier to drive and rather enjoyable.

The district expects to see some major operational savings through the new bus.

Fuel to take a diesel bus 220 km costs about $250. The electric bus can go the same distance on just $50 worth of electricity.

The bus will also require less maintenance for things like oil changes and brake replacement, saving as much as $10,000 over its lifespan.

“Operational savings means more money in the classroom, cleaner air for students to breath while in and around the bus, as well reduced greenhouse gas emissions — building a cleaner, healthier future for our students,” said SD20’s transportation manager Lisa Philips.

Compared to a diesel bus, the electric one saves 17 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Funding help for the bus has come from the B.C. Ministry of Education and Clean B.C.

SD20 has now ordered two more electric buses and expects to be running them by January 2022.



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Adult EducationElectric vehicleskootenay

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read