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Orange County Public Schools adds first all-electric school buses to its fleet

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The wheels on these buses are powered all by electricity.

Orange County Public Schools debuted its first six all-electric school buses on Monday.

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The district said it will be the first in the state to get electric buses on the road with students on board.

Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez said as part of the district’s pilot program, it will be assessing to see if the electric buses can meet operational needs of Orange County’s 220 schools and 70,000 bus riders.

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Senior Director of Transportation William Wen said there are cost savings with the electric buses, with no fuel or oil changes needed, as well as environmental benefits.

But Wen said there are also challenges to the electric buses, including a much smaller mileage range per charge. An electric bus can go 100 to 200 miles on a single charge, where as a diesel bus can travel 600 miles on a single tank.

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Wen said the electric buses also cost three times more than a diesel bus. The district used grant funding to pay the difference for the first six buses.

The district said it will evaluate the pros and cons to the buses to decide how to move forward.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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