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Palermo school buses go electric with funding and 50% lower electricity rate from AMPLY Power

Adding another school district fleet electrification program to its growing list of customers, AMPLY Power has been selected to manage the charging of electric school buses for the Palermo Union Elementary School District in Northern California. The zero-emission commitment from the school significantly lowers operating and fuel costs for the district to 50% of what it paid previously when charging its electric buses, as well as reducing the exposure of students and the local community to diesel particulate pollution.

The public school system in Northern California’s Butte County has contracted an energy rate of $0.10/kWh through AMPLY’s fully-managed, turnkey charging services. The cost of electricity without managed charging could be as high as $0.20/kWh. In dollars per gallon terms, that energy cost means Palermo is effectively paying $1.19 a gallon to power its vehicles.

AMPLY’s services for Palermo include supporting the sourcing of the final funding to secure the project, the installation of charging stations and onsite energy storage, warranty coverage, guaranteed uptime, a resilience plan, and energy bill management through 2026.


Palermo’s electric bus fleet makes up 80% of its total fleet, and currently includes five Lion Type-C electric buses, with a smaller Type-A Blue Bird electric bus planned for 2021. The hardware for the project includes six 16.2 kW Level 2 chargers, and approximately 700 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage.

AMPLY helped move the project forward and advocated for the district in its securing of $49,839 in funding from the Butte County Air Quality Management District. PG&E also provided $35,488 in charger rebates and “make ready” Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) incentives, bringing the total funding amount to $85,327. This financial support eliminated the need for any upfront investment by the school district.

Since most fleets have difficulty measuring the fiscal portion of energy usage, the ability to have full insight into a fixed rate allows for planning, financial management and budgeting that opens the door to scale zero-emission initiatives. With off-peak charging rates as high as 19 cents a kilowatt hour, and on-peak as high at 39 cents, the school district now has the peace of mind that it won’t be hit with peak rates for charging or unexpectedly high utility bills.

—Vic Shao, founder and CEO of AMPLY Power

Palermo participated in PG&E’s EV Fleet program, which helps customers convert their medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road fleets to clean electric vehicles. PG&E helped the school district by designing, paying for and building out a large portion of the electrical infrastructure for their EV charging stations.

AMPLY’s Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS) model goes beyond making it simpler for fleets to transition to electric. It assumes end-to-end responsibility for all charging aspects of the initiative, from cloud-based system design to installing local site controllers. Its proprietary back-end software and operational methods drive utility costs down by optimizing EV charging and other energy use at both public and private depots. Coupling this process with utility service upgrades as-needed enables the district to further scale its fleet electrification program.

AMPLY Power offers the only fully managed charging service to the public sector and commercial businesses looking for guaranteed performance and fixed fuel pricing for their electric vehicle fleets. Similar to how data centers optimize for high efficiency, low cost, and 99.99 percent uptime, the company takes on all components of fleet charging through its scalable Charging-as-a-Service approach. From system design and utility upgrades, to financing, charging infrastructure and maintenance, AMPLY allows fleet operators to expand their zero-emissions operations with confidence and ease, in exchange for an optimized, price-per-mile-driven fee.

Palermo Union School District is located in the northern part of California’s Sacramento Valley, just south of Oroville and 64 miles north of Sacramento, the state capital. The District includes parts of both the Lassen and Plumas National Forests.


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