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Hillsboro School District Receives First Electric Bus

Awards and grants from PGE and the State of Oregon facilitated electric bus purchases and installation of charging infrastructure.

July 26, 2023, Hillsboro, OR - Hillsboro School District has received the first of two electric school buses, further enhancing its commitment to clean fuel alternatives. After conducting a pilot project with 60 buses between mid-February and mid-April of this year, the District transitioned all diesel buses to renewable diesel (R99) on April 17, 2023. 

The electric bus purchases were made possible by grants and awards received from Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Electric School Bus Fund and the State of Oregon. 

The electric school bus program is funded by the sale of Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits, which PGE aggregates on behalf of residential customers who charge their electric vehicles at home. PGE is covering the incremental cost of the electric school buses (the difference in cost between a standard diesel bus and an electric bus) and the total installation of charging infrastructure. PGE is also providing technical assistance to school districts throughout the process, including site assessments, cost-benefit analysis, vehicle and charger selection support, and driver and mechanic support. In return, participating school districts will work with PGE to share their insights and learnings with other school districts interested in electrifying their bus fleets. 

“Portland General Electric is excited to award funds from DEQ's Oregon Clean Fuels Program to support our partners in expanding cleaner transportation systems across the state,” said Elyssia Lawrence, senior manager, Product Manager and head of PGE’s Transportation Electrification team. “Transportation electrification plays an essential role in accelerating the clean energy transition. It is going to take all of us working together to achieve a cleaner and more equitable future for all Oregonians.” 

The District was awarded $250,000 from the Fund on September 27, 2021 and also received a $1 million award from the State of Oregon. Between those awards, other grants and rebates, and money that had been earmarked for this purpose, Executive Director of Transportation Carol Hatfield purchased two electric buses. The District also worked with PGE’s Fleet Partner program to help fund and facilitate the installation of charging infrastructure at the Walnut Street Transportation Center. 

The first of the buses arrived on Wednesday, July 19 almost simultaneously with the completion of the charging infrastructure. The second bus is slated for delivery in August, and Hatfield plans to purchase a third later this school year.

“We are extremely appreciative of PGE’s generous support of electric transportation options,” notes Hatfield. “Electric buses are emblematic of the important steps organizations can take to be more environmentally responsible.”

Hatfield also expressed gratitude to then Representative - now Senator - Janeen Sollman for spearheading the effort to secure electric school bus funding for Oregon districts, and to the legislature for granting the funds. 

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Contact: Beth Graser, Communications Officer
503-844-1772, graserbe@hsd.k12.or.us