Santa Fe school bus fleet goes green

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SANTA FE, N.M. — In “The City Different,” the school district is doing something different by electrifying its school bus fleet with three new electric school buses.

“It takes about three hours for a full charge,” said Superintendent Larry Chavez. “Each charge does approximately last about 135 miles of operating range, and each bus can hold up to 72 passengers.”

Chavez says the district already has one electric school bus in its 60-bus fleet, and they’re not just environmentally friendly.

Chavez estimates the move to electric could save the district tens of thousands of dollars in diesel and maintenance costs.

“We save about almost $17,000 in diesel fuel per bus,” said Chavez. “With that rising fuel cost, these electric fleets do help us eliminate some of this cost as far as diesel fuel.”

The district is purchasing the new buses with more than $1 million in funding from a state settlement with VW for diesel emission reeducation projects across the state.

Chavez hopes to turn more of their school bus fleet green down the road.

“This is just the point of the spear in getting us to transition over to more electric school buses,” he said.