Cambridge Among Four Districts to Begin Using Electric School Buses

The pilot program is one of the first of its kind on the East Coast.

For some Cambridge students, it won’t be a typical school bus rumbling down the street to pick them up for their fast-approaching first day of school—it will be the quiet hum of an electric vehicle.

Cambridge Public Schools is one of four districts in Massachusetts that will begin using electric school buses, along with Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, Amherst Public Schools, and Concord Public Schools. The pilot program was made possible through grants from the state’s Department of Energy Resources, good for up to $350,000 each.

“Massachusetts schools are leading the way by testing clean and resilient energy technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement in May. “This innovative project will also reduce fuel costs and aid our commitment to a cleaner future for the Commonwealth.”

One of the first of its kind on the East Coast, the pilot will be administered by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, with the goal of reducing the schools’ petroleum usage by roughly 22,680 gallons.

“The bus is very quiet, and seems to have more than enough power,” Bill Glucksman, fleet manager for Amherst Public Schools, told School Transportation News, adding that the electric buses will require little maintenance over time.