Michigan paves the way for electric buses


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Seven Michigan school districts will be the first in the state to use electric buses to transport students under a funding agreement signed today.

The school districts are scheduled to receive 17 electric buses under a diesel bus replacement project financed in part by a Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement.

Ann Arbor, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Oxford, Roseville, Three Rivers and Zeeland school districts will receive a total of $4.2 million from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Fuel Transformation Program. The money will pay for up to 70 percent of the costs to buy the zero-emission buses as well as charging stations.

Michigan’s first electric school buses were showcased in Lansing today.

“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.

Contaminants from diesel exhaust include more than 40 substances listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as either hazardous air pollutants or criteria pollutants. With electric school buses, children’s exposure to harmful diesel exhaust fumes and particles drops to zero.

Some of the zero-emissions buses will be on the road as early as this year.

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