Kootenay Lake School District (SD8) will add a pair of electric buses to its fleet in Creston and Nelson this year.

SD8 officials said the two vehicles will be paid for with grants totalling $240,000 from the Go Electric School Bus Program, administered by the Association of School Transportation Services of BC.

Grant funding will also be used to install charging stations at the operations yards in both communities.

SD8 staff touted the benefits of the new electric buses.

“Electric school buses have many advantages, including the cost of electricity compared to fuel and fewer moving mechanical parts, which means they require fewer repairs and less maintenance. In addition, a zero-emission electric school bus saves about 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually compared to a diesel school bus,” said school district officials.

The new vehicles will support the district in its goal to lower carbon emissions in all school operations.

“All initiatives aim to reduce the District’s carbon footprint, increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs,” says Michael McLellan, Secretary-Treasurer.

The buses are expected to start bringing children to school in the early winter of this year.