The latest addition to Kamloops-Thompson school district’s vehicle fleet is an electric bus — one of 18 delivered to 13 school districts across the province.
Board chair Rhonda Kershaw called the bus an important milestone in sustainability that will reduce the district's carbon footprint.
The 76-passenger bus will initially cover routes in Brocklehurst and North Kamloops, along with some field trips.
On a full charge, the bus can cover about 220 kilometres and perhaps more when regenerative braking — resistance caused by braking that will charge the vehicle's batteries — is used effectively.
The bus is part of a trial, which will determine how well it performs in Kamloops.
"The plan is to trial one bus to determine how it performs in our climate and terrain," school district Supt. Terry Sullivan said.
Sullivan said if the trial is successful, the district will add more electric buses as funding allows.
Including its charger, the bus cost $387,017, but through ministry funding, grants and other contributions, the district paid about $45,000.
The cost of a traditional diesel school bus is about $150,000 and will use about $175 in fuel to travel 550 kilometres. The electric bus, meanwhile, will cost about $50 to charge to cover its 220-kilometre range.
The school district said there will be about a 40 per cent decrease in maintenance costs with the electric bus.
Across the Kamloops-Thompson school district, there are 84 diesel buses, which transport more than 4,300 students and travel an average of 9,100 kilometres every day.