The second-largest school district in the U.S. has ordered 10 electric school buses from The Lion Electric Co. (Lion), and a Missouri district has received the state's first electric school bus.
The order from the Los Angeles Unified School District (USD) of the LionC school buses comes on the heels of the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer’s recent delivery of 10 electric school buses to the Twin Rivers Unified School District, located just about 15 miles northeast of Sacramento, California, according to a news release from Lion.
“[Los Angeles] USD is possibly the most well-known school district in the United States, and we are pleased to have been chosen as a key partner in their journey toward zero-emission school bus operations,” said Marc Bedard, Lion’s CEO and founder. “These all-electric buses signify the district’s commitment to improving the local environment and the health of its communities, and we are confident that they will meet and exceed the expectations of the operators and students.”
Los Angeles USD serves more than 600,000 K-12 students at over 1,000 schools. The district’s boundaries stretch across 720 square miles and include the city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 municipalities and several unincorporated regions of southern California.
Lion collaborated with the district to ensure its buses met the unique requirements posed by its large and diverse footprint. The buses have a range of 155 miles on a single charge and include wheelchair lifts. Lion will also provide support and training to the district from its recently opened Experience Center, located nearby in Alhambra. The buses are expected to be delivered in spring 2021.
The electric buses were funded in part by the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) School Bus Replacement Program, and Lion worked with the district to add options to the base CEC specification to accommodate the unique needs of its routes, Lion said in the news release.
In other recent news related to Lion, Knox County (Mo.) R-1 Schools received the state’s first electric school bus — a LionC, WGEM reports. The bus was delivered to the district on Feb. 10, according to its website. Andy Turgeon, the district’s superintendent, posted on the website that the bus made its debut on a route on Thursday, and would run for three weeks.
Funding sources for the bus include the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., and the school district, which paid $7,500, according to WGEM.