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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Electric vehicles are becoming more common on the roads every day. Thanks to a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Wylie Independent School District has the opportunity to introduce 22 electric school buses, which, if adopted, would make up one-third of the district’s bus fleet.

The grant is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program initiative, which has provided $5 billion over the past five years to clean a significant portion of the nation’s nearly 500,000 school buses. The Wylie School Board recently discussed the possibility of accepting the grant, which would replace one-third of the bus fleet. Many questions have been raised regarding the possibility of using these new buses.

“First, we wanted to know what range we were talking about. We wanted to know if there were any mechanical issues. Who do we go to? Battery life. How long does an electric bus last? What does that look like?” asked Wylie Superintendent Joey Light as he outlined the topics for discussion during the school board meeting.

The EPA grant offered to Wylie is only for the buses and does not cover infrastructure changes such as charging stations that the school would need to operate these vehicles. However, there are potential financial opportunities to cover these expenses, which would mean the school’s budget would not be impacted by this change.

“We are currently looking at what they call stacking grants. It’s not just the EPA grant, but we’re also looking at one from TCEQ and how those can be stacked. They have said it’s possible for the district to incur no cost for the buses and infrastructure,” Light explained.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is offering similar grants to the one the EPA recently awarded the school. The Wylie School Board has not yet decided whether to accept the EPA grant. It plans to conduct further research on electric vehicles and evaluate their potential long-term benefits to the school before making a decision.