During the first week in March, students in California’s Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD) were picked up in a new yellow school bus with a distinctly green detail: its engine. The first of its kind in the nation, KCUSD’s new wheels will not only to cut down on the effects of fossil fuel emissions to the environment, but will also improve student health by keeping the immediate air around the bus cleaner.
The new bus, aka the Trans Tech SST-e, contains an all electric powertrain, developed by Motiv power systems and is expected to save the school $10,000 in fuel costs, by itself. In a PR Newswire news release Jim Castelaz, founder and CEO of Motiv expressed his hopes for this major step in green transportation: “We are absolutely thrilled to see this school bus transporting students without exposing them to diesel exhaust. I hope that by the time my daughter is old enough to go to school clean, zero-emission school buses like this one will be the industry standard.”
Currently, KCUSD has ordered a total of four electric buses and has received funding from the California air resources board as well as the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project. These buses are just one more step in the school becoming more environmentally friendly. “KCUSD has taken major strides to reduce diesel particulate emissions by as much as 85 percent” said Jason Flores, the school’s director of transportation.
According to Ecowatch, the bus holds either 25 students or 18 with the addition of a wheelchair lift and comes with telemetry systems for fleet management. The bus can also be 50 percent charged in less than an hour.