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Shiny new electric bus estimated to save school district $30K a year, among first five in state

COURTESY PHOTO: REYNOLDS SCHOOL DISTRICT  - Reynolds School District bought an electric school bus with help from a grant from Portland General Electric.

School District just got a little greener by adding an electric-powered bus to its fleet.

"The bus will save the district approximately $30,000 a year in gas and maintenance costs," said Rehana Nelson, Reynolds School District transportation coordinator.

The new bus "has a 100-mile range on an eight-hour charge, which fits well for our district's routes, (which are) all less than 100 miles," Nelson said.

The bus was purchased through a grant from Portland General Electric.

Portland, Beaverton, Salem-Keizur and Newberg school districts also purchased electric buses under the PGE plan. If future grants become available to purchase another all-electric bus, Reynolds said it will add to its fleet.

Electric buses are more expensive than traditionally-powered buses and the grants cover the difference in price, plus the cost of a charging station and training for the drivers and mechanics.

The bus grants are part of PGE's Oregon Clean Fuels Program, which provides funds with the goal of making electric transportation available to everyone.

The new Reynolds bus produces zero-emissions and has 28 seats.

It will be used on a regular route for students in the district, Reynolds said in an announcement.

In a nod to pop culture, Reynolds Transportation Department numbered the new bus 1.21, a reference to the number of gigawatts needed for the flux capacitor to work in the movie, "Back to the Future."

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