School buses may be America's most ubiquitous and underappreciated transportation resource. From rural roads to urban centers, more than 10,000 school districts rely upon approximately 480,000 school buses to carry 24 million students twice a day. By comparison, that's more than eight times the number of domestic air passengers who fly each day.
Someday soon, school buses might serve a second purpose. In addition to transporting students, they may be a nationwide energy source.
"The school bus industry is almost at the tip of the spear when it comes to vehicle-to-grid technology," says Kevin Matthews, managing director, sustainability sector, for National Strategies, a Washington-based research and consulting firm that works with state and local governments. "The lightbulbs have gone off, especially with utilities, that yeah, we can figure out our vehicle-to-grid issues with school buses."