Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) is proud to celebrate its partnership with Dominion Energy and Virginia's exclusive Thomas Built Buses dealer Sonny Merryman in introducing electric school buses to the FCCPS transportation fleet. This marks the first time FCCPS will be adding electric school buses to its fleet, making them among the first 1% of electric school buses being rolled out in Virginia this year.
At a Ribbon Cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning, FCCPS joined Dominion Energy and Sonny Merryman in celebrating the delivery of two Thomas Jouley electric school buses.
"We are thrilled to introduce electric school buses to our fleet and lead the way in our region," said Superintendent Peter. J. Noonan. "This partnership with Dominion Energy and Sonny Merryman will benefit not only our students but also the environment and the community as a whole. FCCPS is strongly committed to sustainability - in both curriculum and facilities.”
“The FCCPS Strategic Plan includes a Focus Area on Resource Management and Continuous Improvement. Today we can put a big checkmark on a project that exemplifies excellent resource management,” said School Board Vice Chair Tate Gould. “This is part of our vision for a sustainable future.”
FCCPS was awarded $530,000 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help support the purchase of 2 new electric school buses. The funding comes from Virginia’s $93.6 million allocation to the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, which supports initiatives to reduce air pollution. Dominion Energy funded the installation of the related Proterra charging infrastructure.
The Thomas Jouley buses are environmentally efficient, noise pollution-free, and fossil fuel-free. They can seat up to 77 students and travel approximately 135 miles on a three-hour charge. An electric bus reduces operation and maintenance costs for schools by 60 percent. Replacing one diesel bus with an electric bus is equivalent to removing five cars from the road.
Aside from reducing maintenance costs and emissions, the new buses’ batteries will be able to store and inject electric energy into the local power grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not needed for student transportation.
The Falls Church City Public Schools educates more than 2,500 students. The school buses travel over 166,000 miles annually as they transport students to and from school and deliver them to field trip destinations and athletic events.
In her remarks, Transportation Director Regina Anderson said, “While everyone else has been waiting for this day, the transportation team has been preparing for this day. We’ve all trained on these electric buses, and as a transportation department, we are so proud to be able to shepherd this new transportation technology into the community.”