U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) visited Blue Bird Corp.’s manufacturing facility in Fort Valley, Georgia, on Tuesday and got a firsthand look at electric school bus technology.
Warnock toured the facility and went on a ride-and-drive of an electric school bus, according to a news release from Blue Bird.
“I grew up riding in Blue Bird school buses and am a product of the public school system. I can tell you the buses I rode back then were a lot louder than this electric bus,” Warnock said in the news release. “Some say that you can choose to invest to save the environment or jobs — but you can’t save jobs without saving the environment. With investment in electric school buses, we are poised to lead more into the sustainable energy future — the green energy job future. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the air, and it’s certainly great for our children.”
Warnock’s visit follows his co-introduction, along with Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), of the Clean Commute for Kids Act in April. The legislation authorizes $25 billion over the next decade to begin replacing aging diesel buses with electric school buses.
School buses make up 90% of the U.S. bus fleet and 94% of school buses currently run on diesel, according to Blue Bird.
“We look forward to working with Senator Warnock and all members of Congress to advance legislation so that our children can enjoy the benefits of these zero-emission buses,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp.
Blue Bird introduced electric school buses 27 years ago and the OEM said in the news release that it will have more than 400 electric school buses on the road this summer. It offers electric school buses in Type A, C, and D configurations with standard vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability.
View posts from Warnock’s Facebook page of the tour below.