This week, Montana Senator Steve Daines announced that $1.5 million was received by the University of Montana from the Department of Transportation as part of its ‘Low Emission and No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program.

Jordan Hess, Director of UM’s Office of Transportation said the grant was to continue its electric bus program.

“This will allow us to replace up to three of our older diesel buses which cost more to maintain and operate and replace those with modern battery electric buses,” said Hess. “With some local match, that allows us to buy three buses and two charging stations.”

Hess said these new charging stations differ from the stations that currently charge up the present electric buses.

“These will actually be at the university and they’re a different style than the ones we have on campus,” he said. “They’re an overnight charger, so you plug them in at night in the garage, so we’ll have the en route chargers that we’ll continue to use and then we’ll have the garage chargers that we’ll use overnight.”

These two charging systems provide some redundancy in case of a power outage on one side of campus.