Can you imagine riding to school on an electric bus? For some students in Durango, this will soon be a reality.

Durango School District 9-R received a $328,803 award for the purchase of a fully electric 81-seat school bus. The award also includes the installation of the related charging infrastructure. According to the Durango Herald, the award comes thanks to a joint grant application by Distract 9-R and the La Plata Electric Association.

Not to exhaust a cliche', but I used to walk to school, both ways. As a matter of fact, there were hills involved. As a result, I never rode the bus. For those who have had the pleasure, what would you guess to be the average mileage for a typical school bus?

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The website afdc.energy.gov estimates the average school bus' mileage to be between six and seven miles per gallon. The average transit bus gets about three miles to the gallon. Just for fun, did you know the average trash truck gets just over two miles per gallon?

What about the new electric bus? How far can it go on a charge? According to the Durango Herald, the new bus has a range of 200 miles per charge, more than enough to handle the district's route.

These electric buses don't come cheap. The average cost comes in around $350,000. According to the Durango Herald, the LPEA is kicking in an additional $120,000 to cover the cost of the charging station and other costs.

Looking at the video below, it seems an electric school bus looks pretty much like a typical diesel school bus. Please note, the bus in the video does not reflect the make or model of the bus purchased by District 9-R.

According to Durango School District 9-R's official webpage, they were one of only eight grant awardees out of 38 total applicants. The district expects to have the bus operational by fall 2021.

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