AMPLY Power, a company that streamlines public and commercial fleet electrification, has been selected to fully manage the charging of electric school buses for the Palermo Union Elementary School District in northern California’s Butte County.
The district’s zero-emission commitment significantly lowers operating and fuel costs to 50% of what it previously paid when charging its electric buses. The school system has contracted an energy rate of $0.10/kWh through AMPLY’s fully managed, turnkey charging services. The cost of electricity without managed charging could be as high as $0.20/kWh. In dollars per gallon terms, that energy cost means Palermo is effectively paying $1.19 a gallon to power its vehicles.
AMPLY’s services for Palermo include supporting the sourcing of the final funding to secure the project, installing charging stations and onsite energy storage, and providing warranty coverage, guaranteed uptime, a resilience plan and energy bill management through 2026.
Palermo’s electric bus fleet makes up 80% of its total fleet and currently includes five Lion Type-C electric buses, with a smaller Type-A Blue Bird electric bus planned later this year. The project’s hardware includes six 16.2 kW Level 2 chargers and approximately 700 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage. AMPLY helped move the project forward and advocated for the district to secure $49,839 in funding from the Butte County Air Quality Management District. PG&E also provided $35,488 in charger rebates and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) incentives, bringing the total funding amount to $85,327. This financial support eliminated the need for any upfront investment by the school district.
“Since most fleets have difficulty measuring the fiscal portion of energy usage, the ability to have full insight into a fixed rate allows for planning, financial management and budgeting that opens the door to scale zero-emission initiatives,” says Vic Shao, founder and CEO of AMPLY Power. “With off-peak charging rates as high as $0.19/kWh, and on-peak as high at $0.39, the school district now has the peace of mind that it won’t be hit with peak rates for charging or unexpectedly high utility bills.”
Palermo participated in PG&E’s EV Fleet program, which helps customers convert their medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road fleets to electric vehicles. PG&E helped the school district by designing, paying for and building a large portion of the electrical infrastructure for their EV charging stations.
AMPLY says its charging-as-a-service (CaaS) model goes beyond making it simpler for fleets to transition to electric. It assumes end-to-end responsibility for all charging aspects of the initiative – from cloud-based system design to installing local site controllers. Its back-end software and operational methods drive utility costs down by optimizing electric vehicle charging and other energy use at public and private depots.