The new Mega BEAST effectively doubles the usual expected range of an electric school bus. - Image: GreenPower Motor Co.

The new Mega BEAST effectively doubles the usual expected range of an electric school bus.

Image: GreenPower Motor Co.

Electric vehicle manufacturer GreenPower Motor Co. received an order for 35 Type D all-electric school buses – including 25 of the company’s new Mega BEAST buses – from Montebello School District in California.

Electric Vehicle Funding Helps California Fleet

GreenPower received the orders from Model 1 (formerly Creative Bus Sales), the manufacturer’s exclusive California dealer. The school district in Garden Grove asked for 25 Mega BEAST and 10 BEAST school buses, with funding assistance from the California HVIP program and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program.

"GreenPower is pleased to see these school districts being able to place orders through Model 1 for the BEAST school buses using program funding that helps them prepare for future transportation requirements. The Montebello order of the Mega BEAST comes just a few weeks after our launch of the new option showing an immediate demand for the product," said Michael Perez, GreenPower's vice president of school bus, contracts, and grants. "We continue to work closely with our dealer in California to help school districts plan for the deployment of all-electric, zero-emission school buses that meet their specific needs instead of NOx emitting diesel buses."

In the past month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all new school buses in California be electric by 2035. With that action, California joined Connecticut, Maine, Maryland and New York in mandating the switch to all-electric, zero-emission school buses in fleets over the next four to 17 years. The new law makes California the leader in state funding for the transition to all-electric school buses with the switch projected to cost roughly $5 billion.

"GreenPower's school buses are a great fit for school districts implementing EVs in California. The passenger capacity and variable battery range options available deliver a path to meet school's operational needs. These GreenPower EV school buses provide safe and healthy transportation for students and save money over the long-run through reduced operation and maintenance costs" said Jason Hohalek, school bus sales manager for Model 1. "With these buses qualifying for California HVIP vouchers, air quality management district grants, VW funding and the EPA Clean School Bus Program, school districts are able to fund the transition to a cleaner, safer ride."

At the end of September, the California HVIP program extended the date for submissions for the public school bus set-aside funding of $370,000 for a Type D BEAST school bus without a wheelchair lift and $395,000 with a wheelchair lift, and $285,000 for a Type A Nano BEAST without a wheelchair lift and $310,000 for a Type A Nano BEAST Access with a wheelchair lift.

The BEAST School Bus Breakdown

GreenPower's BEAST is a 40-foot Type D all-electric, purpose-built, zero-emission school bus that can seat up to 90 passengers with standard features that include air ride suspension, ABS disk brakes, and pass-through storage available.

The Mega BEAST, introduced on Oct. 31, delivers a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge via a 387 kWh battery pack. It provides for the longest range and has the biggest battery pack currently in the school bus market. The Mega BEAST is designed to provide the answer for longer range routes and other desired uses by a school district. The extended range created by the larger battery pack is an ideal solution for many rural school districts with longer routes, school districts with less chance for mid-day opportunity charging, school districts that face extreme weather conditions, and schools that also use the all-electric bus for extra-curricular activities.

The larger battery of the Mega BEAST also could provide for a healthier and more stable electric grid and community stability in areas where it is deployed and V2G is used.

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