Here’s how Alaska’s only electric school bus is performing in temps as low as -40F

by Michelle Lewis

November 19, 2021

The $400,000 bus cost $50,000 because an Alaska Energy Authority program covered the rest of the cost.

Tok Transportation bought the bus with an Alaskan Energy Authority grant, and it replaced one of seven diesel school buses in the town.

The electric school bus is kept in a bus barn and charged by solar panels on the bus barn that were purchased with grant money, and also with power from the local utility company.

It has not missed a single day of school. What we found out is the bus heated well. It kept the interior at normal temperature. Even with a little bit of insulation on the batteries and kind of covering up the engine compartment, to try to hold in as much heat as we could, we were still using more energy to heat the bus than we were to drive the bus.

On January 27, we had 38 below. The bus’ efficiency that day was 3.46 kilowatts per mile. So this fall, in August-September, we were running between 1.4 and 1.7 kilowatts per mile.