Student transportation company Zum announced that it is transitioning its fleet to 100% electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025.
The investment is the company’s latest step in its Zum Net Zero initiative, a program designed to create a safer, healthier, more sustainable planet, according to a news release from the student transportation provider.
As previously reported, in July, Zum announced a partnership with AutoGrid, a provider of AI-powered energy software solutions, to deploy 10,000 electric school buses to create a gigawatt of flexible capacity for the electric grid. The partnership will reportedly leverage AutoGrid's Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology, and when fully deployed, is expected to be one of the largest VPPs in the world, according to the company.
“We plan for Zum’s entire fleet to be 100 percent EVs by 2025, but we can’t wait for technology to catch up to our ambitions to drive sustainable change,” said Ritu Narayan, CEO and founder of Zum. “Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States, and we have an opportunity to make an immediate positive impact on society and provide students with carbon neutral rides.”
As part of this investment, Zum is working with 3Degrees, a firm that helps organizations achieve renewable energy and decarbonization goals, to support verified emissions reductions projects. Those projects include the Winston Creek Forest Project — a 10,000 acre forest in Washington State that serves as a bridge for owls traveling from nesting locations — and the Meridian SF6 Reduction Project — which, in the auto parts manufacturing process, replaces a powerful greenhouse gas that has a global warming impact 22,800 times greater than carbon dioxide.
“As organizations work to decarbonize their operations as aggressively and as quickly as possible, supporting emissions reduction projects through the purchase of verified carbon credits is a critical near-term solution to address their direct and indirect emissions,” said Stephanie Harris, director of carbon markets at 3Degrees. “We’re excited to see Zum take immediate action to address its carbon footprint as it continues to make progress on transitioning to a completely electrified fleet.”