Let’s revisit how things are going on the EV school bus route and focus on a growing subject in EV mobility more broadly: V2G and V2X.1,5
How are things going? In a word, robustly. Public funding and private investment continue to accelerate with respect to marketplace introduction of both new EVs and plans for repowered school buses.2
V2G refers to vehicle-to-grid, whereby EVs are sources for energy and not just means of transport. The most frequent argument in favor of the technology is that EVs can store energy when demand is low and deliver it when demand is high. This makes sense from a community resilience point of view (think: heat wave or cold snap) and from an economic point of view (think: variable rates based on community demand).3
V2X refers to vehicle-to-everything, whereby EVs are mobile in situ power sources and not just means of transport.4
Both V2G and V2X advocacy invoke the fact that the majority of vehicles are not moving far more often than when they are in motion. In other words, the opportunities for an EV to provide power to a grid or to a location are vast and diverse.6
Significant public investment in EV school transport is underway, along with support for charging infrastructure. Every charging station has the potential to be a component in a V2G strategy, and every bus can be a V2X spot source.
Climate change predictions usually include greater frequency of extremes and local situations wherein the risk of disruption to distribution is high, but the extreme weather event creates greater demand. In these scenarios, V2G EV school buses can provide part of a community resiliency strategy due to their mobility and their energy storage capacity compared to personal EVs.7
Further, in non-emergency settings and large outdoor events such as festivals, concerts, and sporting events, EV school buses (or transit buses or cargo vehicles) could function as on-the-spot power sources in place of ICE generators. There are potential efficiencies in terms of delivery of onsite logistics and power.
Power up. Cool off. Rock on.
1 See our previous post on this topic: https://www.foley.com/en/insights/publications/2022/03/ev-buses-arriving-now-and-here-to-stay
3 See: https://electrek.co/2022/09/30/bidirectional-act-promotes-electric-school-buses-with-v2g/
4 See: https://electrek.co/2022/12/06/v2x-program-uses-bidirectional-ev-charging-to-lower-utility-costs/
5 Sometimes E2X is seen as V2E
6 See: https://youtu.be/aULbh1OWD58
7 See: https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/gm-partners-with-utility-company-test-evs-emergency-power