GreenPower started production of the Type A Nano BEAST buses in June. Production of Type D BEAST buses is expected to begin in Q1 2024.  -  Image: Canva/GreenPower Motor Co.

GreenPower started production of the Type A Nano BEAST buses in June. Production of Type D BEAST buses is expected to begin in Q1 2024.

Image: Canva/GreenPower Motor Co.

Electric school bus manufacturer GreenPower Motor Company rolled out the first four all-electric Type A Nano BEAST school buses from the company's facility in South Charleston, West Virginia this week.

“Today marks a significant achievement for all-electric, purpose-built school bus production in the United States,” said GreenPower CEO Fraser Atkinson. “Less than 24 months ago, GreenPower joined Gov. Jim Justice in announcing our plans to manufacture school buses here in West Virginia to meet the demand for zero-emission school buses on the East Coast. Those plans have come to fruition with the manufacturing of the first four Nano BEAST school buses being completed at the South Charleston facility.”

The Road to a New GreenPower Milestone

GreenPower took possession of the 80,000-square-foot facility in August 2022 and since that time has prepared for the production of both the Type A Nano BEAST and the Type D BEAST. The Nano BEAST has been in production since June and production of the BEAST will begin Q1 2024.

“Setting up a new manufacturing facility for the production of all-electric, purpose-built school buses is not an easy task,” said GreenPower President Brendan Riley. “I am proud of the GreenPower team for reaching this milestone in the progression of our company. A local workforce being trained and educated by both GreenPower’s senior production staff and BridgeValley Community and Technical College has led us to the production of these first buses and will be the foundation for our long-term manufacturing presence here in the Mountain State.”

Atkinson noted that the completion of the first GreenPower all-electric school buses is as a result of an economic partnership with the state of West Virginia. “The state has played a critical role in reaching today’s rollout. From securing the manufacturing facility to the purchase of $15 million in GreenPower school buses, West Virginia has been the kind of partner that helps a company achieve its startup production and financial goals,” he said.

Today marks the first manufacturing of the Nano BEAST and Nano BEAST Access option from the South Charleston plant. The Nano BEAST is a Type A all-electric, purpose-built, zero-emission school bus with seating for up to 24 students. The Nano BEAST Access option has seating for up to 18 ambulatory passengers and up to 3+ Q’STRAINT wheelchair securements, complemented with a BraunAbility rear curbside lift.

Production processes are in place at the facility to begin manufacturing of the BEAST, GreenPower's all-electric, purpose-built, zero-emission 40-foot Type D school bus that can seat up to 90 passengers.

The newly announced Mega BEAST option with a 387 kWh battery and up to 300 miles of range will also be manufactured in West Virginia.

State Leaders React to Latest Achievement in EV School Transportation

“West Virginia is in a period of prosperity and growth, and we are fortunate to have GreenPower leading the way in our new energy and technology economy. I, for one, am honored GreenPower selected West Virginia for its eastern U.S. all-electric school bus production facility and look forward to the growth and future success of the company in our state,” said Delegate Roger Hanshaw, Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates. “My goal is that today is only the beginning of what future GreenPower production and employment opportunities will look like in West Virginia.”

Said State Sen. Craig Blair, the state's lieutenant governor and president of the West Virginia Senate: “Today marks a significant milestone for the state of West Virginia as GreenPower has completed production of the first group of all-electric, zero-emission school buses in our state. Not only is GreenPower providing cleaner, safer transportation to students, but they are also providing incredible employment opportunities for West Virginians, giving those same kids a reason to stay in the state for good paying jobs. I look forward to GreenPower’s continued success in West Virginia and the positive contributions this company will bring to the future of our state.”

Delegate Christopher Toney, vice chair of the state's House of Delegates education committee, also is a school bus driver.

“I’ve been on this journey with GreenPower since the day they announced their intent to manufacture all-electric, purpose-built school buses in West Virginia," Toney said. "As a school bus driver myself in Raleigh County, I’ve had the privilege of driving GreenPower’s all-electric school buses and can say, without a doubt, they are the safest, most quiet and smoothest ride I’ve been on. The fact that these buses are manufactured here in West Virginia brings me great pride.”

“Thanks to GreenPower, Kanawha County West Virginia is now seen as the home to the manufacturing of all-electric, purpose-built school buses for markets up and down the East Coast," said Ben Salango, Kanawha County commissioner. "The jobs that were created to produce this first set of buses is just the beginning of what this company’s production means to both the county and state.”  

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