MAPC receives grant to advance battery electric school bus purchasing

For Immediate Release: Monday, September 21, 2020

BOSTON – The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) today announced it has received state funding to develop a regional procurement model that would support expansion of electric battery school bus service across Massachusetts. MAPC shares the grant with primary grant recipient Highland Electric Transportation, which currently provides the Beverly Public School District with one electric bus.

Under the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Accelerating Transportation Now (ACTNow) grant to Highland Electric Transportation, MAPC will receive $20,345 to explore methods of scaling up the pilot project with the City of Beverly to more Massachusetts cities and towns. MAPC will partner with Highland Electric Transportation on the project and is providing matching funds of $19,575 to support exploration of regional procurement models to reduce municipal costs and increase adoption of battery electric school buses across the Commonwealth. The multi-year ACTNow grant will also allow Highland Electric Transportation to deploy a second battery electric school bus in Beverly. Additionally, the project team will implement a complementary electric vehicle curriculum, provided by the non-profit organization EcoRise, for students to learn about transportation electrification.

MAPC and Highland Electric Transportation comprise one of nine project teams selected by the Commonwealth to receive grant award funding to demonstrate innovative clean transportation solutions across the state.

“MAPC has long been interested in transitioning diesel school buses to electric, which can significantly improve public health for children and families, among others, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis. “We are excited for this opportunity and hope that, by supporting the deployment of an innovative turnkey business model through the grant award, we can help to make battery electric buses more cost competitive and logistically feasible for Massachusetts cities and towns.”

Currently, the upfront cost of a battery electric bus is more than three times that of a diesel-powered bus.

“Highland Electric Transportation is thrilled to be partnered with MAPC on this electric school bus project. At Highland we are focused exclusively on expanding access to the health and environmental benefits of electric municipal fleets and are focused on school buses. Electric school buses will improve local air quality and save money for districts, but to get there we need partners like MAPC to build on Beverly’s leadership, creating industry standards, educating stakeholders, and establishing momentum across all communities in the Commonwealth,” said Highland Electric Transportation CEO Duncan McIntyre.

MassCEC’s ACTNow program facilitates clean transportation initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the market for low-carbon transportation technologies across Massachusetts. MAPC is also part of a project team awarded $200,000 to deploy an income-tiered and equity-focused electric vehicle carshare program in Roxbury. Headed up by E4TheFuture, other grant partners include Shared Mobility, Inc., Nuestra Comunidad CDC, Eversource, and the City of Boston. Both the Roxbury and Beverly projects meets Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Criteria, according to MassCEC.

For more information MassCEC’s ACTNow program, visit

Amanda Linehan
Communications Director
Metropolitan Area Planning Council

About the Metropolitan Area Planning Council

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is the regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in Greater Boston. Our work is guided by our regional plan, “MetroFuture.” Find out more at

About Highland Electric Transportation
Highland Electric Transportation is a comprehensive turnkey solutions provider that delivers electric school buses (EVSB) to school districts and third-party managed fleet providers (3PMs). Visit for more.

About the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies, and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts.