Five Minnesota school districts, including Faribault and Osseo, to benefit from Minnesota’s new electric school bus pilot project

Contact: Lauren Lewandowski, 651-757-2756

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today announced more than $2.1 million in grants for its innovative electric school bus pilot project. Because of MPCA’s pilot project, eight new electric school buses will be servicing five Minnesota school districts.

Grantees include:

  • Faribault Transportation Services, Inc. who will service one bus to Faribault Public Schools
  • Monarch Bus Service, who will service one bus to St. Paul Public Schools or Columbia Heights Public Schools
  • Morris Area School District, who will service two buses in their district
  • Northstar Bus Lines, LLC, who will service three buses to the Osseo Area Schools
  • Ottertail Coaches Inc., who will service one bus to Fergus Falls Public Schools

Some of the newly funded buses have already begun transporting Minnesota students with the rest expected to be in service by fall of 2022. In addition to the eight school buses, grantees received funding for charging stations.

The electric school bus pilot project will support cleaner vehicle technology and reduce harmful air pollution, serving as another important step toward achieving Minnesota’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Changing from diesel to all-electric buses can reduce GHG emissions by at least 29 tons per vehicle. In total, awarded grant projects are anticipated to reduce pollution from GHG emissions by 1,120 tons.

In addition to removing older, more polluting diesel buses off the roads, the pilot project is designed to help determine the viability of electric bus technology in Minnesota’s cold climes. During the grant period, grantees will provide the MPCA with quarterly data on bus operation and performance, maintenance, and energy use, among others.

With the new program, Minnesota is the first state in the Midwest to implement a pilot project that will gather data and information about the buses’ performance and reliability. Lessons learned from the pilot project will inform future electric school bus projects. The pilot project is funded by the Volkswagen settlement.

For more information on the pilot project and the grantees, please visit the MPCA’s electric school bus web page.