The City of Boston is making major strides toward electrifying its fleet, including investing in electric school bus fleets and training fleet technicians to work on electric vehicles.
Boston Public Schools (BPS) will be launching an electric school bus pilot program, deploying 20 buses during the 2022-2023 school year. These electric buses will replace existing diesel buses. This initial procurement is the first step toward full electrification of the school bus fleet by 2030.
BPS currently has 739 buses and has been working to replace its diesel buses with buses that run on propane as an interim solution.
The city is also launching the electric vehicle (EV) Train the Trainer program, a partnership between the Public Works Department and Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. This program will enable the city’s Central Fleet Management team to train students and city fleet managers in electric vehicle maintenance through Madison Park’s Automotive Technology Program.
The Train the Trainer program begins in May. The Public Works Department’s Central Fleet Maintenance (CFM) Division will host a class for fleet mechanics from Public Works, Boston Police, and Boston Public Schools on how to safely service and repair EVs, adding new EV educational capacity to Madison Park’s Automotive Technology program. Graduates of the program will be certified to teach the proper and safest way to repair and maintain EVs to students. The program will be offered to city fleet mechanics, seniors in the automotive program at Madison Park, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology students, and adult learners through the Career Technical Institute program at Madison Park.
“The Public Works Department has always placed a strong emphasis on continuing education and training for our fleet mechanics and interns enrolled in the Madison Park Automotive program,” stated Director of Fleet Maintenance Bill Coughlin. “We know that electric vehicles are here to stay, and by training future generations how to repair and service EVs, we’re equipping them with a skill-set to acquire good-paying jobs in the automotive marketplace.”
Beginning in the fall, electric vehicle maintenance will be added as part of the core curriculum for students participating in the Madison Park Automotive Technology program.
The city has been making progress on its commitment to installing EV charging stations throughout Boston’s neighborhoods for both municipal use and for residents. The city currently has 66 active EV charging plugs, and 15 additional plugs will be installed by early 2023.