Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) has been selected by Portland General Electric (PGE) as one of five school districts to participate in the 2020 School Bus Electrification Project.

The project will put the first five electric school buses on the road serving Oregon students in 2021.

Along with SKPS, the other district are Beaverton, Newberg, Portland and Reynolds. Each district will have an electric school bus to serve their students next year.

Using funding from the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, SKPS and the other school districts were chosen based on commitments to meet the needs of underserved communities and incorporate the buses more broadly into student education around climate science.

SKPS Selected by PGE for Electric School Bus Project

Superintendent Christy Perry said, “We are so excited about this tremendous opportunity. Asthma is one of the leading causes for student absences, so by exploring electric school buses that have clean emissions, we are improving the health of our community.”

All five districts will each receive funding to purchase an electric school bus, install charging infrastructure, and provide technical and training support.

“Oregon students want to see action on climate change. PGE is answering that call by partnering with five school districts to put their first electric school buses on the road next year, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and helping schools reduce their operating costs,” said Maria Pope, president and CEO of Portland General Electric. “If we are going to meet Oregon’s climate goals, we must work together to build a clean energy future and electrify our transportation system for all.”

Transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon and a major source of other air pollutants, says PGE. Benefits of the electric school buses include:

Cleaner Air

  • Electric school buses reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half compared to a diesel school bus
  • Electric school buses have zero tailpipe emissions and reduce carbon monoxide emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions, which have significant negative health impacts, including asthma—by more than 80% than a diesel school bus

Safety and Comfort

  • Electric school buses are quiet, reducing noise pollution in neighborhoods
  • Drivers are better able to communicate with students

Lower Cost

  • Electricity is less expensive than diesel, and prices are more stable over time

In addition to the electric school bus program, PGE established the Drive Change Fund with Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits, which awarded $2.25 million in grants this year for projects that expand access to electric transportation in the area.

About Portland General Electric Company

Portland General Electric is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves 895,000 customers in 51 cities, has 16 generation plants in five Oregon counties, and maintains and operates 13 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2019, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $4.7 million and volunteered with more than 700 schools and nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/cleanvision.