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September 30, 2022

King Introduces Bill to Promote Electric School Buses, Improve Grid Stability

The BIDIRECTIONAL Act would boost electric school bus deployment, and tap them in their downtime to distribute their excess electricity to communities

BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has introduced legislation to promote electric school buses and improve electrical grid stability and reliability for Maine towns. The BIDIRECTIONAL Act would create a Department of Energy program dedicated to deploying electric school buses with “bidirectional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) flow capability,” or the ability to use the bus batteries to power the electrical grid when they’re not in use. Electric school buses work well for vehicle-to-grid because they have large batteries, sit idle for long, predictable periods, and operate in fleets. If properly deployed, the technologies have the possibility to discount the upfront cost of an electric school bus by returning energy to a school district or town.

“Vehicle-to-grid school buses are another common sense tool that can help to create a reliable grid, promote clean energy, and cut costs for local towns and school districts,” said Senator King. “The BIDIRECTIONAL Act will assist school districts across Maine and America transition to electric buses and make sure these vehicles provide greater stability to their communities. Combined with electric bus investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, this will be an important step towards unlocking America’s clean energy future. It’s a simple, win-win bill and I hope it can get bipartisan support across Congress.”

The BIDIRECTIONAL Act is supported by Advanced Energy Economy, Blue Bird, bp Pulse Fleet (formerly Amply), Community Organization for Resource Efficiency (CORE), EDF, Electrification Coalition, Environment America, Highland Electric, Lion Electric, La Plata Electric Association, NRECA, Nuvve, PIRG, Proterra, and Xcel Energy. For quotes from supporting organizations, CLICK HERE.


  • Create a Department of Energy program dedicated to deploying electric school buses with bidirectional energy flow capability with priority given to applications that demonstrate economic viability and seek to use V2G buses in regions or applications where V2G is promising but not yet deployed.
    • These buses could be used for V2G, vehicle-to-building (V2B), and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications, which includes grid balancing, microgrid services, offsetting building energy use, and resiliency applications such as using an electric bus as a mobile power station after natural disasters.
  • Require DOE to provide a report on the existing V2G school bus pilot programs, and would require states’ public utility commissions to consider measures to promote V2G integration.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator King has advocated for climate solutions that support Maine communities, unlock America’s clean energy future, and strengthen national security. He has been one of the Senate’s most vocal advocates for improving energy storage technologies and development and worked to include significant storage investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act

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