Montgomery County public schools approved a $1.3 million annual contract on Tuesday to lease electric buses from Highland Electric Transportation, replacing its full fleet of over 1,400 buses by 2035. While e-buses are generally more expensive than conventional ones, Montgomery County isn’t spending any additional money because it is leasing the buses instead of purchasing outright. That means Highland Electric takes on that initial higher cost of the Thomas Built buses with Proterra batteries, which the company will then recoup over the life of the lease through lower costs of use. Electric buses require less upkeep and fewer spare parts, so upkeep is only half the cost of a conventional fleet, making them cost-effective over the long term.
Meanwhile in the UK, First Bus announced a trial of e-buses produced by Arrival in “microfactories”, as part of their work to meet a pledge to stop buying diesel buses after 2022 and be fully clean by 2035. (Washington Post $, Washington Examiner, Bloomberg $; UK: CNBC)