WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools is adding four new buses to its 160-vehicle fleet, but these new ones are special.
The school division bought the new electric buses from Dominion Energy for the same price as their diesel counterparts.
Williamsburg-James City County Schools fleet management coordinator Billy Estes is getting to know more about the four new electric buses. He said the buses will bring down the emissions outside and inside of the bus. He also said less pollution and noise will help school bus drivers stay safe.
“They’ll be able to focus more on driving them and the kids, they won’t have the noise of the motor. So, they will be able to focus more on the kids and driving them," said Estes.
Estes explained this week firefighters got a chance to train with the buses before they hit the road.
“Training on how to approach a bus. If it was ever in an accident and how they can disconnect the batteries, if needed," Estes explained
He added that it takes just three hours to fully charge an electric school bus.
The school division's director for transportation, John Lambusta, said the charging stations have another purpose. They can store power that can help the community during times when energy is needed the most.
“The power that has been generated in those batteries can be reversed and brought back to Dominion for use of periods of demand," said Lambusta.
Lambusta said the buses have new back-up cameras installed and they plan to add more cameras in the future.
Williamsburg James City County Public Schools is one of 15 localities in the state to get the electric buses from a Dominion Energy Electric School Bus Deployment Program.