In February 2021, the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education (Maryland) approved a contract with Highland Electric Transportation, a provider of turnkey electric fleet solutions, to convert its school bus fleet to all-electric, starting with 326 school buses over the next four years. At the time of signing, this project represented the largest single procurement of electric school buses in North America.
Under the agreement, Highland and its project partners, including Thomas Built Buses, Proterra, and Annapolis-based American Bus, will electrify all five of MCPS’ bus depots, supplying the electric school buses and charging infrastructure along with services including managed charging. In addition, the electric buses will lend their batteries to deliver stored electricity to the local electricity markets, interconnected through Pepco, which helps the community integrate renewable energy and support grid resiliency. Highland takes on the obligation of internalizing these values, which shift the cost of ownership for the electrified fleets, helping to deliver budget neutrality to MCPS.