School Districts Doing Their Homework on Alternative Fuels Turn to Propane Autogas

Each year, the number of school districts that are prioritizing student health and environmental impact by transitioning to alternative fuel school buses is growing. In many instances, districts that decide to move away from dirty diesel buses come down to a decision between propane autogas and electric. And time and again, districts that do their homework are coming to the same solution.

Most recently, at a Wilson School District board meeting in Pennsylvania, district officials voted to purchase seven new propane autogas buses. During the meeting, one member of the board discussed the possibility of purchasing electric buses instead. While the school board member had good intentions in mind, the district had already kicked the tires on many fuel options and came to the same conclusion: propane autogas.

Most notably, district superintendent Richard Faidley said that while there are some benefits to electric, there are also major drawbacks, especially in the northeast. He said electric buses “failed miserably” in colder climates not only on range, but on charge time, too. He also noted that battery replacements every six years would cost taxpayers an additional $100,000 per bus. And since electric buses can cost three times as much as propane buses, the costs outweigh the benefits.