Mobile Emergency Power During and After Natural Disasters and Shortages




Karan, Ebrahim

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Institute for Homeland Security


This study explores the potential utilization of electric school buses as an alternative emergency power source during power outages. With the increasing adoption of electric vehicles and advancements in energy storage technologies, repurposing electric school buses for emergency power generation presents a novel approach to addressing critical energy needs in times of crisis. This research investigates the technical feasibility, economic viability, and operational effectiveness of integrating electric school buses into emergency power systems. Through simulations and scenario analyses, the study examines the capacity of electric school buses to provide backup power over various durations, considering factors such as battery degradation, energy demand, and vehicle availability. Furthermore, the research evaluates the economic implications, including the cost-effectiveness of retrofitting and upgrading existing school bus fleets, and the potential revenue streams from participating in demand response programs and grid services. The findings of this study reveal that electric school buses have the potential to significantly enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities. Although this alternative is technically feasible, it may not be financially justifiable for several reasons such as higher upfront costs, charging infrastructures, operational complexity, and the complexity of the policies and regulations involved in running the grid.



Resilience, power outage, electric school bus, emergency power


Karan, E. (2023) Mobile Emergency Power During and After Natural Disasters and Shortages. (Report No. IHS/CR-2023-1020). The Sam Houston State University Institute for Homeland Security.