Escambia County Awarded $2.7 Million For Nine Electric Buses

August 30, 2022

A court settlement with Volkswagen will provide Escambia County with a $2.7 million grant for nine electric public transportation buses.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded a total of $68 million for 227 electric buses in 13 counties statewide.

“This funding will help lower emissions while also bringing our transit bus fleets to more modern standards,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “This is a win-win for air quality and advancing the state’s efforts to bolster growing electric vehicle usage.”

In October 2016, Volkswagen settled with the U.S. government resolving claims that it violated the Clean Air Act by selling diesel vehicles that violated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mobile source emission standards.

In February 2022, Florida DEP announced its Electric Transit Bus Grant program supporting the purchasing of electric transit buses to replace eligible diesel transit buses in an effort to improve Florida’s air quality.

Public transit agencies that are participating in this program must purchase two electric transit buses for each bus replaced under the DEP plan. An eligible public transit agency that does not meet this eligibility requirement may still participate but will be subject to a prorated portion of the award, according to the state.


24 Responses to “Escambia County Awarded $2.7 Million For Nine Electric Buses”

  1. Sedition on September 3rd, 2022 10:09 am

    Hope they have quite a few million stashed back to replace the batteries when they fail…IF the buses don’t go up in flames first.
    Electric transportation is a good idea on paper, but not practical with today’s technology.
    California, a couple of days ago, asked their citizens not to charge their electric vehicles due to a probable stress on their power grid. If you can’t keep your lights on, how can you charge a car with very limited range.

  2. Silent Observer on September 1st, 2022 8:41 am

    It doesn’t matter where the money comes from – grants, donations, tax payors. All money should be managed well. Still this is not a good deal – there is only a 33% savings and that’s not enough to make it a good deal. Our leaders need to be very frugal with any funds coming our way. Just today, the governor of California has asked folks NOT to charge their electric cars because it’s stressing the electrical grid. I support more efficiency and a cleaner mode of transportation but ALL costs must be reviewed. Immediate costs and long term costs. Susie is correct – think ahead to the disposal aspect.

  3. Susie on August 31st, 2022 7:51 pm

    Does FDEP realize fires from these vehicles take extra resources to put out because there are so many haz mat materials and containment issues in them? Even if these vehicles don’t catch on fire, there is an environmental disposal dilemma that is another nightmare in and of itself. These vehicles cost a small fortune no matter what they do. Set up, maintenance, parts, disposal, etc. It’s all a fortune. It’s a big loser for the taxpayers!

  4. Frank on August 31st, 2022 5:25 pm

    TEM, there will always be power? These charging stations get their power from the same place gas stations get their power, and guess what. I can run to the next state over and get gas, good luck on waiting in long lines of traffic trying to get that electricity. And Mr Suberry, what taxes has the governor raised? Maybe I missed something other than, We have had record tax free days under this administration.

  5. Realist on August 31st, 2022 7:33 am

    Everyone bashing electric vehicles guess what? They ARE the future.

    Air travel was once thought crazy. Then it was only for the rich. Now millions of people fly everyday. Electric vehicles are still new and will only get better and cheaper as the tech improves. So keep complaining cuz its gonna happen anyway :)

    Why is it such an inconvenience to try and cut emmisions? C’mon people.

  6. concerned on August 31st, 2022 6:02 am

    get ready folks the price of shoes will soon cost a lot more gonna be a lot of walking
    get your running shoes ready

  7. Rob Simmons on August 30th, 2022 8:16 pm

    What? How will we survive without diesel smoke and noise?

  8. Bob Suberry on August 30th, 2022 5:20 pm

    Like most would say, there is never anybody in these buses. Secondly, I am not sure the routes would encourage people to skip the car. A business knows if you are waiting to provide shelter and AC. Without it, they would go out of business. We live in an area that gets very, very, very hot, rains a lot and can get very, very cold. However, don’t get mad at me for stating the obvious. The only way to make the bus or transportation work is do fork up millions and put in place a complete transportation system that almost doesn’t require anyone to do anything except go from their front door right to the transportation. That is, if you want complete participation. Otherwise, a system that has been around for a long, long, long time will give others a reason to look elsewhere for a solution. Lastly, the transportation system needs to ensure the safety of anyone utilizing it, that is their responsibility. I don’t think this could be done. Escambia county isn’t even sure they want to expand. Instead they rely on business from other cities and hope the welfare from those cities gets them by. Think big, it will be big. Think small and you get what you pay for. Hire people from huge cities who can help escambia to come up to speed! Get a governor who knows what he is doing and isn’t interested in taxing everyone so he can say he has a surplus and then says he is going to cut taxes. So, he is going to cut the taxes he created?

  9. TEM on August 30th, 2022 5:19 pm

    Any Idea where the Electricity Comes From ?? Just Curious ?
    These will be great to Distribute Food after a Storm since they wont need Fuel and Fuel can be a little Difficult to get . Electricity is always there even when there is no Power .

  10. Spud on August 30th, 2022 5:12 pm

    I think buying electric vehicles is unnecessary. I like my gas operated vehicle.

  11. Josh Jones on August 30th, 2022 2:19 pm

    @Silent Observer

    Escambia will be purchasing 9 electric busses – maybe they won’t be as large as the diesel ones being replaced (they currently are rarely full)

    The money came from a settlement between the US EPA and Volkswagen

    The money will also be used to buy 218 electric school busses in certain Florida districts – but not in Escambia County

    150 electric vehicle charging stations will be installed along the state highway system

  12. John Davis on August 30th, 2022 12:22 pm

    Question: Anyone have an idea what the replacement batteries cost to replace?

  13. My2Cents on August 30th, 2022 11:42 am

    Great Job! Maybe they can expand the routes to service more of Cantonment.

  14. Silent Observer on August 30th, 2022 11:09 am

    If I read this correctly: Public transit agencies that are participating in this program must purchase two electric transit buses for each bus replaced under the DEP plan. Then that’s buy 2 get 1 free. That means you are saving 33% off the price of each bus. So, in other words, they are using a small gimmick discount to get you to buy more buses than you need. I’ve been a budget shopper too long to fall for those kind of deals.

  15. Gedunk on August 30th, 2022 9:42 am

    That’s a lot of money to spend so we can have EMPTY busses running around.

  16. Mel on August 30th, 2022 9:37 am

    Great so now the poor man trying to get a ride has to deal with a dead battery or worse no bus cause the replacement battery is going to be to expensive. Electric vehicle will not work or do anything to help the environment. I guess folks forgotten about you got to make the power to charge these vehicles and yes the power plants aren’t going to be able to keep up cause they can’t even do that with what we already using and yes power plants make bad emissions

  17. D. Flowers on August 30th, 2022 9:36 am

    I am hoping that the BOCC or ECAT will assign someone competent and neutral to track the efficiency of these 9 electric buses over the next 5 years and make a report to the public. There is a big push for the nation to shift wholly to electric vehicles and even ban the sale of new gas vehicles by 2035. Does anybody think it is a good idea to force citizens into a vehicle that most cannot afford to buy or do upkeep on, that has a limited cruising range and take a long time to “refuel” just in the name of cutting carbon emissions while China, India and most of the rest of the world get a pass on pollution? Let these buses be a test case for electric vehicles. If electric vehicles are to be the wave of the (near) future then let the science dictate it, not hand-wringing government wonks in Washington and Tallahassee. 2035 is just 13 years away. Do you want to ride an electric bus when your old gas vehicle quits and your alternatives are zero?

  18. Josh Jones on August 30th, 2022 9:14 am

    @mnon & Oversight

    Electric busses last an average of 12 years.

  19. Josh Jones on August 30th, 2022 9:11 am


    Diesel public transportation busses cost around $500,000.

  20. EMD on August 30th, 2022 8:36 am

    I cannot believe that our governor did this. I thought he was on our side. If electric vehicles become the rule, I will take my chances staying for any hurricane, as trying to evacuate would surely be madness and mayhem. Also, what mnon and Carolyn Bramblett said. What the heck!!!!????

  21. EMD on August 30th, 2022 8:27 am

    I can’t believe our governor went along with this. When we go all electric, I will surely take my chances in a hurricane and not dare try to evacuate the area in what is sure to be maddening mayhem. What the heck!!!???!?!?!?! Is ANYONE on our side? Oh yeah………God is, but we have kicked Him our of schools and many churches. What next?

  22. Carolyn Bramblett on August 30th, 2022 8:09 am

    Three hundred thousand dollars for a bus? Insanity.

  23. mnon on August 30th, 2022 5:49 am

    As if they didn’t run late already wait until they have to start charging them every 100 miles due to carrying loads of people. They are being charged using fossil fuels too, so not really improving anything, just wasting money on something that won’t last 2 years before needing to be replaced or a new battery that will cost twice as much as the bud and comes from China.

  24. Oversight on August 30th, 2022 3:43 am

    Lol! Put them on the Century route. Bet these e-busses don’t last a year in service.

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