The Lion Electric Co. USA announced that 11 of its electric school buses will be part of the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation Electric School Bus Pilot Project. This marks the first school buses supported with Volkswagen settlement funds allocated to Michigan and administered by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
Zeeland Public Schools, Oxford Community Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Gaylord Community Schools and Three Rivers Community Schools are the Michigan districts that will purchase all-electric LionC’ school buses. These zero-emission school buses will be on Michigan roads as soon as Fall 2019.
The goal of the Programme is to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality inside school buses, where the buses idle, and along roadways where the buses travel. This program specifically focuses on children who are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of diesel emissions and who live in regions designated as air quality priority areas.
“Since taking office, I’ve been deliberate in combating climate change, protecting public health here in Michigan, and advancing our state’s technology and the transportation landscape in a way that also improves lives,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Programmes like these that replace diesel-powered school buses with electric models allow for students to learn about advancing technology and see what a real impact they can have when it comes to climate change. These advancements put Michigan on track towards longer environmental sustainability and reinforce Michigan’s continued leadership when it comes to next generation transportation.”
Lion’s Vice President of Sales, Nate Baguio, also said, “Lion is thankful for the opportunity to deliver healthy breathing environment with zero-emission school buses to the State of Michigan. It has been a pleasure working with Michigan school districts, and the Lion Team is excited to work with other school districts as they deploy all-electric, heavy-duty vehicles in Michigan.”
Zeeland Public Schools, Oxford Community Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Gaylord Community Schools and Three Rivers Community Schools will receive 125-mile range buses with a capacity of 71 passengers. The buses will also be vehicle-to-grid enabled. This means that the previously stated districts will be able to return unused energy from the on-board batteries to the grid during peak periods of energy use. This functionality is intended to allow bi-directional flow of electric power that can power school sites as well as emergency shelters.