The Eden Prairie School District has begun seriously investigating the costs and benefits of transitioning its fleet of school buses from diesel to electric. The benefits are clear in the improved health of students, in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and in reduction of operating expenses.
Costs continue to be a barrier.
Electric cars were in a similar situation 10 years ago. Leadership and monetary incentives were crucial to catalyze change. Now, as production is increasing, the need and availability of incentives has been diminishing.
For example, there is no longer a tax credit for buying a Tesla, yet Tesla delivered almost one million vehicles in 2021. School buses need to follow a similar arc, beginning with leadership and incentives.
In Eden Prairie, the school district’s business office is prepared to take a leadership role if some incentives can be found to start the process.
There are many uses for our historic budget surplus, but the State of Minnesota needs to make electrification of school buses one of its priorities. A small amount of funding now can be the seed for decades of change.
Scot Adams and Tim Conners Eden Prairie
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