Example of an Electric School Bus like the two PWCS will receive

Student transit on those familiar yellow buses is becoming a bit more green. Dominion Energy has partnered with local Virginia school districts to begin replacing diesel buses with 100 percent electric school buses in phases.

Phase one will bring 50 electric school buses to 16 divisions within Dominion Energy's service area, including two of them here in the Prince William County Public Schools division. This will be the largest deployment of electric school buses in the United States.

The electric buses are planned to be in operation by the end of this year. If approved, phase two of the project will put 1,000 electric school buses on the road in Virginia by 2025. The aim is to reach 100 percent electric school buses by 2030.

Dominion Energy estimates that replacing one diesel bus with an electric bus will keep 54,000 pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere-the equivalent of taking more than five cars off the road.

"One of our goals is for PWCS to become carbon neutral," shared Jennifer Rokasky, energy education coordinator for PWCS. "The Energy Management and Sustainability Team was thrilled when Dominion announced this program. These electric buses do not have internal combustion engines which means no emissions. And, they will help save money as we will not have to pay for diesel fuel."

The benefits of the buses go beyond clean transportation and greatly reduced pollution. The buses have "vehicle-to-grid technology" and can serve as giant batteries for the grid or for electricity use off the grid as well.

Electric school buses look almost identical to their diesel counterparts, but do not sound like them and have added safety features. Dominion Energy shared that the buses are all equipped with seatbelts and "are quiet, allowing for better communication between drivers and students."

Look for the two electric buses to be in operation in Prince William County Public Schools by the end of 2020.