Electric school buses will soon make their way through California streets.
Government officials from both California and Quebec, Canada, unveiled the eLion electric school bus Tuesday at the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto.
Quebec and California’s GO-Biz partnership created the first Type C electric school bus manufactured in North America, according to both governments. The goal is to help reduce emissions in North America.
“These buses they idle all the time,” said David Heurtel, Quebec minister of sustainable development, environment and the fight against climate change. “There is stop and go and waiting and a lot of emissions and a lot of them rolling out there; not just in California but across the U.S. and Canada.”
Each bus costs $300,000, nearly double the cost of a diesel bus. California school districts are eligible for a $100,000 subsidy. The bright yellow buses are estimated to save 2,200 gallons of diesel per vehicle each year.
“School buses are really important because the air inside a diesel bus or natural gas bus can be a lot more polluted for children compared even to the ambient air,” said Tyson Eckerle, deputy director of zero emission vehicle infrastructure at the California governor’s office. “This has no emissions in it, so those developing lungs aren’t affected.”
Sacramento school districts will be the first to roll out the electric vehicles. Twin Rivers Unified and Elk Gove Unified districts will receive 29 buses by next month.
The partnership is part of Gov. Brown’s goal to put 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.