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  • City Innovation
  • Decarbonization
  • Vehicle to Grid

Electric School Bus Fleet with V2G Capabilities Signals New York City's Decarbonized Future

Jul 13, 2021

Guidehouse Insights

On June 3, 2021, a ribbon cutting ceremony for New York City’s first electric school bus fleet took place in Brooklyn. The Logan Bus Company vehicle on display was outfitted with green wheels and bumpers, meant to serve as a symbol for New York City’s green future. Five electric buses will be used in the fall of 2021, but there are a remaining 2,500 buses owned by Logan Bus Company, out of a total of 15,000 New York City school buses, that could go electric in the future. 

The First of Five Logan Bus Company Electric School Buses

(Source: Guidehouse Insights)

CPower and AMPLY Power attended the ceremony as collaborators in the project. AMPLY Power is providing its Charging-as-a-Service package to Logan Bus Company at its depot. While the project is only focused on load management now, a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bidirectional EV charging system from Rhombus Energy Solutions will be integrated in the coming months. To offer additional flexibility, CPower is enabling demand side energy management programs for AMPLY, creating a revenue stream to reduce the underlying cost of the project while offering a resource to help keep the grid balanced during peak hours. Matthew Sachs of CPower remarked, “Electric vehicles and their chargers are ideal assets for energy management programs as they unlock value on both sides of the meter. The buses are on a predictable schedule, which makes value easy to find.” CPower has 4.3 GW of distributed energy resources (DER) assets in its portfolio, including storage, EVs, solar, wind, and generators.  

V2G Enables Cost Savings, Lowers Environmental Impacts

CPower’s role is significant in this project as it enables local grid operators to remove the cast variability of the energy and EV charging infrastructure while facilitating fully charged buses when needed. “V2G provides much-needed cost savings to the contractor while simultaneously allowing us to provide power back to the grid, thus reducing brownouts and helping our community during emergency events,” explained Corey Muirhead, executive vice president of Logan Bus Company. Guidehouse Insights expects that V2G-based capacity will grow globally at a compound annual growth rate of 83.1% to over 3.5 GW from 2020-2029. 

Brooklyn Borough President and New York City Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing that vehicle-based pollution disproportionately impacts Black and Brown children suffering from asthma and other pollution-related health conditions. Adams applauded the project, saying it is “real collaboration to save our children, and to make sure they have an opportunity to have a healthy future.” A Harvard and the University of North Carolina study of 12 states found that New York suffers roughly 1,400 premature deaths every year and loses billions of dollars in health-related costs due to pollution from vehicles. Furthermore, New York has the highest death rate due to vehicle pollution in the Northeast. 

This an impressive start to New York City’s vehicle pollution-reduction journey and a meaningful symbol of collaboration in the energy space. Technological innovation and political will from a number of different parties were necessary to make this project a success and will be needed for the future DER integration projects required for New York City to meet its decarbonization goals.