Getting schooled in commercial EV infrastructure development

Getting schooled in commercial EV infrastructure development

What electric school bus infrastructure projects can teach us about EVs in trucking.

For those interested or just getting started in planning zero-emissions vehicle strategy, developing electric truck charging infrastructure to support battery electric trucks is a challenge. In fact, with heavy-duty and (soon) medium-duty trucks available from a bevy of OEMs, it’s the biggest challenge. Yet, we can learn a lot from where battery electric vehicles are already running successfully.

For commercial applications, battery electric school bus is an apt comparison. The routes are predictable and short, similar to the applications Class 7 and 8 battery electric trucks would run, and you need plenty of space to charge a school bus, just like a truck. This sector’s journey from initial pilot projects to widespread adoption is not just a success story within the educational sphere; it serves as a potential blueprint for the adoption of EVs in the realm of trucking.

One of the key aspects of the electric school bus success is the development of a robust and effective charging infrastructure, supported by strategic funding mechanisms. Strategies such as coordinated utility engagement and managed charging, which have been crucial in the school bus sector, are adaptable to various commercial EV applications. For instance, a managed charging approach, which involves scheduling charging times to avoid peak electricity rates, can result in significant cost savings for commercial fleets, just as it does for school buses.

Long-term charging infrastructure planning is also paramount. After all, if you’re taking the time and spending the money to install infrastructure, you only want to dig once, and that means examining the compatibility between vehicles and charging infrastructure. It also means envisioning future needs and ensuring that today’s decisions can support to tomorrow’s growth.

In addition to the technical aspects, the transition to electric school buses has been significantly supported by various funding sources, including federal and state-level programs. This aspect of the transition holds important lessons for the trucking industry, particularly in understanding and leveraging available funding opportunities. For instance, programs like the HVIP Public School Bus Set-Aside and Energiize have facilitated the pairing of electric vehicles with appropriate charging infrastructure.

Amanda Le, lead project manager, Energiize, and Ian Fried, Lead Project Manager, Calstart, sat down to share what they have learned in rolling out electric school bus charging infrastructure and dive into the details of aspects like leveraging funding models that can be replicated in the trucking industry to move toward greater EV adoption. Watch the video for all of their insight.

You May Also Like

Like a ticking clock: How data can help get truck warranty claims filled out on time

In order to have a warranty claim successfully processed, there has to be a paper trail, and it has to be ironclad.


A truck’s warranty is like a ticking clock. If a part is going to have a fault, you’d much rather it reveal itself on day 80 of a 90-day warranty than on day 95. 

And when you do have to submit a claim, that’s complicated too, because you have to do everything right. The standard of proof is very high for a truck company to accept a warranty claim—if anything is missing or any reason is given to doubt the claim, it will not be successful. There needs to be documentation. In order to have a warranty claim successfully processed, there has to be a paper trail, and it has to be ironclad.

What it means when heavy-duty trucks are also ‘Virtual Vehicles’

Integrated real-time data aims to enhance heavy-duty trucking fleet efficiency, safety and productivity.

Walking the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week show floor

This year’s HDAW definitely lived up to this year’s theme—”Fully Equipped”.

Peterbilt SuperTruck 2 takes center stage at CES

The OEM tells us how they exceeded DOE freight efficiency expectations.

Why Drivewyze is making trucking safety free for all

Bringing safety related information to every trucking fleet could make all the difference.


Other Posts

Hexagon Agility expands CNG fuel system manufacturing plant

The company says a green future for trucking is close, and what’s coming next could put fears over a lack of CNG power to bed.

Navigating diesel engine oil usage uncertainties

The importance of tracking miles, monitoring oil levels and keeping accurate service records.

Deploy! Here’s what makes a successful EV transition

Rolling electric vehicles into your fleet operation is only the beginning of the zero-emissions transition.

NACFE: ‘Realistic expectations about BEVs are what’s needed now’

“An open mind and realistic expectations about BEVs are what’s needed now,” – Mike Roeth, NACFE.