Williamsburg James City County Schools (WJCC Schools) now has four electric school buses as part of its 160-vehicle fleet. In a special plug-in ceremony, division staff celebrated and welcomed partners and guests to learn more about the benefit of the new vehicles.
WJCC Schools, Dominion Energy and Sonny Merryman, the Jouley electric school bus supplier, hosted the event June 9 at the division’s operations and transportation headquarters on Jolly Pond Road. After a plug-in ceremony at the new electric vehicle charging station, guests learned more about the electric buses and enjoyed a brief ride to Lois S. Hornsby Middle School.
“This is a very special day for our schools,” Dr. Olwen Herron, Superintendent, said during remarks at the event, “Adding these buses to our fleet is a demonstration of our commitment to environmental stewardship, fiscal responsibility and the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community.”
The division is among the first 15 localities in the state to receive electric school buses through Dominion Energy Virginia’s electric school bus deployment program.
About the Electric Buses
Electric school buses offer many benefits, including reduced emissions, cost savings and enhanced grid reliability through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology).
According to Dominion Energy, replacing one diesel bus with a zero emissions electric bus is the equivalent of taking 5.2 cars off the road each year. Students and bus drivers will benefit from interior air quality that is five times better than that of a diesel bus.
The electric busses have many safety features, including reduced noise. The quite motor allows better communication between drivers and students. However, when buses slow at a school or bus stop, a warning sound engages to alert pedestrians that a vehicle is approaching.
The Williamsburg and James City County community will also benefit from the new electric buses. While the primary use of these buses is student transportation, when they are not needed for school, the bus batteries can provide a power reserve to store energy and supply it back onto the grid during peak times.
The four electric buses will begin service this summer for students participating in summer enrichment programs.
WJCC Schools thanks the supporters and partners who made it possible to receive the Jouley electric school busses and continue to improve division transportation, including Dominion Energy Virginia, Sonny Merryman, Thomas Built Busses, Proterra, Bay Electric Co., Inc., the City of Williamsburg and James City County.