customer spotlight

Learn how Palermo Union School District cut fueling costs in half

The Palermo Union School District, located in Northern California, is charging ahead with electrifying its school bus fleet, partnering with bp pulse on charging infrastructure and operations.

The district set out to deploy electric school buses to reduce students’ exposure to harmful emissions. After securing electric vehicle and infrastructure funding, Palermo deployed five Lion Type-C electric buses to transport the district’s 1,200 students. Once deployed, the fleet continues to save by using charging management to lower operating and fuel costs.

Cutting energy costs in half

To ensure Palermo’s total cost of ownership of their new and growing electric bus fleet is low, bp pulse simplified the charging infrastructure and operations, with their Charging-as-a-Service solution. With Charging-as-a-Service, bp pulse manages all aspects of the project–design, engineering, operations, and deploying Omega, bp pulse’s charge management software, with no upfront costs to Palermo.

Through bp pulse’s fully-managed, turnkey charging services, Palermo has contracted an energy rate of $0.10/kWh, which is half of the area’s potential unmanaged charging electricity rate of $0.20/kWh. This lower energy rate means Palermo is effectively paying $1.19 a gallon to power its vehicles — a full 50% lower than their previous electricity costs from unmanaged EV charging.

bp pulse’s services for Palermo go past installation and charge management software to include warranty coverage, guaranteed uptime, a resilience plan, energy bill management through 2026, and support sourcing the final round of funding.

Omega, bp pulse’s cloud-based charge management software, provides everything a fleet operator needs to cost-effectively manage and optimize their EVs. Learn more.

"While transitioning to electric can be intimidating and costly, bp pulse’s comprehensive and scalable charge management services are taking the planning and management burden off our staff and replacing it with confidence in our fleet’s performance and predictable, fixed fuel pricing."

Leveraging funding for school bus fleets

The school district started out with funding from the Rural School Bus Pilot Project. To help move the project forward, bp pulse advocated for the fleet to secure $49,839 in funding from the Butte County Air Quality Management District. PG&E also provided $35,488 in charger rebates and “make ready” infrastructure incentives, bringing the total funding amount to $85,327. This support removed significant financial hurdles and eliminated the need for any upfront investment by Palermo.

Just as Palermo took advantage of grants and incentives, funding is currently available for school bus fleets to reduce EV and infrastructure costs. The EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program provides five billion dollars over five years to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission models. Public and nonprofit school districts are encouraged to apply, with priority given to support school districts in low income, rural or tribal communities across the U.S. 

Learn more about funding opportunities

To learn how to secure funding and save on EV charging, watch this free on-demand webinar. During the webinar, co-hosted by School Transportation News and bp pulse, speakers discuss:

  • How Palermo USD has saved after using bp pulse’s charge management system
  • How the school district plans to use cost savings to continue expanding their fleet
  • How to reduce costs with available funding to school fleets
  • How your school fleet can save on its EV program

bp pulse can help navigate the funding and electrification process, contact us to talk about your plans to electrify.

Go further

charging-as-a-service leadspace
Find out what Charging-as-a-Service can do for your fleet

bp pulse’s Charging-as-a-Service removes the burden of high capital investment and stakeholder engagement with comprehensive project management and amortized costs.


5 May 2022


Erik Bakke

Senior Sales Manager
bp pulse fleet