National Express partners with Con Edison, Nuvve, and Lion Electric on findings of three-year EV sustainability study

12 April 2022 12:00 PM

EV White Plains

National Express participated in a three-year innovative demonstration project to support the company’s belief that electric school buses could be a resource in helping to keep its service reliable.

Con Edison announced its findings from the three-year project at the New York International Auto Show, where Con Edison is lead sponsor of the EV test track. Under the project, five of our electric buses took elementary school students in White Plains to their classes each day. The batteries on the buses charged and discharged at our bus depot in North White Plains, New York. Con Edison and partners retrofitted three of the buses with power converters allowing them to perform vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bi-directional charging. These converters allowed Con Edison to reverse the flow of power into the grid when the buses were not transporting children.

The goal was to determine the technical and economic viability of using V2G-equipped school buses to support the grid at times when demand for power is high, which is usually on hot summer afternoons and the buses met the project goal of averaging 1.4 kilowatt hours per mile.

They also exceeded the goal of minimal electricity losses. About 85 percent of the power in the batteries reached the grid. Moving electricity through conductors always results in some losses.

The research showed that using the batteries for both transportation and grid support causes the batteries to degrade just like driving would. That means that future V2G may require extended warranties or earlier battery replacements.

Con Edison worked with bus manufacturer Lion Electric, National Express, project developer First Priority Group Electrified (FPGe) and energy technology company Nuvve Holding Corp.

"As one of the largest school bus operators in North America, National Express was elated and honored to host the V2G project,” said Carina Noble, Senior Vice President, Communications and External Affairs, for National Express. “While there were reliability difficulties with some components initially, the successful discharges proved that V2G technology in a fixed-route service is viable for grid support. Providing a zero-emission riding experience is part of our sustainability roadmap, and proving our technologies will get us to our destinations safely and on time.”