The Copper Development Association, a market development, engineering, and information services arm of the copper industry, alongside a diverse stakeholder group, has announced the launch of a new coalition dedicated to promoting the expansion of electric school bus fleets across the U.S.
The Electric School Bus Coalition (ESBC) aims to drive adoption of electric bus fleets and the infrastructure needed to support them through education and actionable, market-driven policy development, according to a news release from the Copper Development Association.
Comprising school bus manufacturers and dealers, electric utilities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and material providers, ESBC will harness the collective expertise of its membership to promote cleaner transportation fleets, healthier air for future generations, and domestic economic development, according to the association.
“We’re honored and excited to support the transition to electric bus fleets, which will create jobs and infrastructure opportunities and highlight American manufacturing leadership,” said John Hipchen, director of energy and electrical systems at the Copper Development Association. “To reach these goals, we are calling for $25 billion in federal grant funding (enough to replace 20% of the current diesel school bus fleet) as part of current infrastructure package negotiations.”
Initial founding members of the ESBC include Arizona Public Service, Thomas Built Buses/Daimler Trucks North America, Dominion Energy, Duke University, Electric Vehicle Drive, Energy Storage Association, Highland Electric Transportation, International WELL Building Institute, National Association of State Energy Officials, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, PacificCorp, Salt River Project, Center for Green Schools at U.S. Green Building Council, and Virginia Clean Cities. The founding members established the coalition on a common set of principles but welcome the addition of any likeminded groups that support their goals.
Jed Routh, vice president of sales, marketing, and service for Thomas Built Buses, told School Bus Fleet that the manufacturer is "proud to work together with other industry leaders to ensure that our customers, their riders, and society as a whole navigates the transition [to electric] quickly and seamlessly."