FRESNO, Calif. — A school district here recently received two electric school buses from The Lion Electric Co. and First Priority GreenFleet.
The new buses for Central Unified School District were made possible by a $1.1 million grant from the Measure C New Technology Reserve Program, and administered by the Fresno County Transportation Authority, according to a news release from the district. In addition, the district received funding from the California Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).
“At Central Unified, we are grateful to be receiving two of the all-electric buses as part of the Measure C program,” said Andrew G. Alvarado, the superintendent of the district. “These buses will decrease the emissions around our schools and our community as well as lower fuel costs for our daily transportation services. Our students will experience a quieter bus ride due to noise reduction, and cleaner air at bus stops and school sites.”
Measure C is Fresno County’s half-cent sales tax, passed by county voters in 1986 and again in 2006, to generate in excess of $2 billion for the improvement of transportation systems throughout Fresno County. The electric buses will help enable the region to achieve the Measure C New Technology Reserve Program’s goals of improving air quality, reducing energy consumption, and demonstrating the feasibility of new transit technologies, according to the school district.
Each of the new electric buses can transport 71 passengers, and contains air conditioning, three-point seat belts, a child check system, and cameras. The buses also have a 100-mile range on a full battery charge, according to the school district.
“We are proud to continue to lead the school bus industry in the delivery of 100% zero-emission school buses," said Nate Baguio, The Lion Electric Co.'s vice president of sales.
The Lion Electric Co. has deployed over 150 zero-emission school buses in North America and recently opened its first Lion Experience Center in Sacramento, a teaching space available to school districts, fleet operators, and agencies to learn about EV capabilities, charging, available grants, and vehicle tours. The company already started providing EV classes and advanced training to the EV community, and the Lion Experience Center will continue to expand as the demand grows.
In addition, Central Unified School District hosted a media event unveiling the buses on Jan. 9 on behalf of Fresno County Transportation Authority, The Lion Electric Co., and the City of Sanger. Speakers at the event included superintendent Andrew G. Alvarado, supervisor Buddy Mendes, who is the chairperson of the Fresno County Transportation Authority, and representatives from The Lion Electric Co. (View photos of the event, posted on the Central Unified School District's Facebook page, below.)