Alternative Fuels

3 California Districts Receiving Electric School Buses

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on May 12, 2017
Twenty-nine new electric school buses, from Lion Bus and Trans Tech, are being provided in part by a grant from the California Air Resources Board, to serve students in the Sacramento area. Shown here is an eLion electric bus.
Twenty-nine new electric school buses, from Lion Bus and Trans Tech, are being provided in part by a grant from the California Air Resources Board, to serve students in the Sacramento area. Shown here is an eLion electric bus.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three local school districts are receiving electric school buses with assistance from a state grant.

The electric school bus deployment, which the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and its partners announced on Friday, is the largest in the U.S., according to the AQMD. An unveiling to mark the deployment was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy, with AQMD and other officials in attendance and six of the electric school buses on display.

The 29 new electric school buses will serve students throughout Sacramento County. The buses’ routes run primarily through disadvantaged communities, reducing air pollution in those neighborhoods.

The buses will serve students in Twin Rivers Unified School District, Sacramento City Unified School District, and Elk Grove Unified School District. Twin Rivers' 16 electric buses are currently in operation. Elk Grove will receive 10 electric buses, and Sacramento City will receive three. The buses will begin operation in Sacramento City and Elk Grove in the coming months, according to the AQMD.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) provided $7.5 million in competitive grant funding to help pay for the project. CARB offered the grant through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that applies billions of cap-and-trade dollars to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities. The project partners contributed a combination of cash and in-kind matching funds totaling $6.9 million.

Project partners include manufacturers First Priority GreenFleet, Motiv Power Systems, Lion Bus, and Trans Tech; electric vehicle charging solutions supplier EV Connect; public strategy firm California Strategies; the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD); electric vehicle equipment supplier Phil Haupt Electric; and energy software system developer Kisensum.

The buses will serve students in Twin Rivers Unified School District, Sacramento City Unified School District, and Elk Grove Unified School District. Shown here is a Trans Tech eSeries bus.
The buses will serve students in Twin Rivers Unified School District, Sacramento City Unified School District, and Elk Grove Unified School District. Shown here is a Trans Tech eSeries bus.

“The fleet of electric school buses we are unveiling today is additional proof that zero-emission transportation is growing rapidly in California,” said Richard W. Corey, CARB’s executive officer. “These zero emission school buses will help to improve the air quality in areas where our children study and play.”

The project also enables participating school districts to loan the electric buses to other school systems in an effort to promote shifting to zero-emission fleets. Multiple school districts have already expressed an interest in testing out the new buses, according to the AQMD.

The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. For more information, visit www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov/.

For more information on the AQMD, visit airquality.org. For information on funding opportunities for clean cars, trucks, and buses in California, visit Moving California at arb.ca.gov/movingca.

“We are thrilled that our partnership with Motiv Power Systems allows us to bring our all-electric eSeries to Sacramento County and the state of California,” said Trans Tech President John Phraner. “The eSeries is a tremendous complement to our proven lineup of fuel-efficient conventional school buses. Combining our signature aerodynamic design with the Motiv Power Systems powertrain and Ford E450 chassis provides customers interested in an all-electric Type A school bus the best choice on the market.”

Related Topics: Alternative Fuels, California, electric bus

Nicole Schlosser Managing Editor
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