The first electric school bus in Mississippi is now operating in the town of Brooklyn at Forrest County Agricultural High School.
Representatives from Mississippi Power and the school celebrated the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The bus, a Thomas Built Buses C-2 Jouley, replaces a diesel bus. It’s expected to carry students as far as 138 miles on a single charge.
“We are excited for this monumental day for the state of Mississippi,” said Giff Ormes, marketing and sales director for Mississippi Power. “Nine Mississippi school districts were recently awarded more than $36 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Working with our partners in education, we’re able to stay at the forefront of adoption as electric school buses become the norm.”
Forrest County Agricultural High School is the only independently functioning agricultural high school in the state of Mississippi and was listed as a Mississippi landmark in 1996. The school plans to use the electric bus to provide students with transportation to sporting events and educational functions.
“Forrest County Agricultural High School has always embraced its roots and demonstrated innovation in the business and technology of agriculture,” said FCAHS Foundation Board President Alania Cedillo. “The pursuit of an electric school bus is an extension of that philosophy, and we would like to thank Mississippi Power for their partnership, Empire Trucking for their support, and FCAHS leadership for their inspiration.”
“Forrest County Agricultural High School is thankful to be a part of this partnership with the FCAHS Foundation and Mississippi Power to receive an electric bus,” said Donna Boone, Forrest County Agricultural High School superintendent. “As a rural school district, we are excited to have an opportunity to improve air quality with lower emissions and utilize the bus as a teaching tool for environmental citizenship.”
The bus will run on two 113 kWh batteries with a total capacity of 226 kWh – enough energy to power an LED light bulb for more than two years without ever turning it off. A 60 kW DC fast charger was installed at the school to fully charge the electric bus in three and a half hours.
“It is no secret that electric school buses are built to make tomorrow cleaner, greener and brighter,” said Keith Winham, Empire Bus sales manager. “However, they are also designed with innovations to make today’s school routes smarter, more efficient and even safer. The future has arrived – right on schedule.”