Electric buses in Massachusetts are showcasing the power of heavy-duty vehicles as they are being used to send energy back to the grid. 

The city is using its electric school buses to send energy back to the grid to help conserve and reduce emissions. Highland Electric Fleet partnered with several leaders such as Thomas Built BusesProterra, Rhombus, and Synop to make the idea a reality. 

Highland Electric Fleets was founded in 2018 and provides electrification-as-a-service for state and US government fleets. The EV bus company claims its “responsible for the largest electric school bus deployment in the United States.” Highland is currently in 30 US states and Canada, with over 330 electric buses. 

The partners used two Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley EV buses powered by Proterra battery systems. The two electric buses supplied over seven MWh of energy back to the grid.  

Highland’s director of technology and platform management said: “Electric school buses are ideal assets for V2G applications. Nearly 500,000 school buses in North America spend most of their time parked.”  

“Fossil fuel-powered buses provide no value when idle. Electric buses, on the other hand, can be used effectively as mobile batteries when not transporting students to provide additional power that supports grid stability and resiliency. “ 

Though 10 MWh may not seem significant, consider this. It takes around 17 kWh to power an average home in Massachusetts. So, the 10 MWh generated from the buses is enough to power about 600 homes.