California recently passed a law that mandates that all school buses be electric by 2035. Now, multiple school districts are getting a head start, having just placed orders for electric school buses made by GreenPower Motor Company.
The Garden Grove school district in Orange County will be receiving 10 of the company’s BEAST — short for “battery electric automotive school transportation” — school buses, and the Montebello School District in Los Angeles County will be receiving 25 of the newer Mega BEAST school buses.
Environmental benefits aside, one can imagine that school bus-riding children might be very excited to learn that their bus is officially named “Mega BEAST,” but the environmental benefits are a big deal, too. The BEAST has a 140-mile range, while the Mega BEAST, designed for rural school districts where students are more spread out, has a whopping 300-mile range.
The switch from gas-powered to electric school buses is a win for both the planet, as the vehicles will create far less planet-overheating pollution, and for the health of the kids themselves, as they will no longer be exposed to as much tailpipe exhaust. The American Lung Association recently urged Congress to invest $20 billion in a nationwide switch from diesel to zero-emission school transportation.
Neither the Electrek article nor the GreenPower Motor Company website mentioned what the electric buses cost — presumably, they are not cheap.
“Truly a beast! Hopefully, some school districts can afford it. I’m sure it isn’t cheap. The kids benefit from the cleaner air on their long rural commutes,” wrote one Electrek commenter.
“Having EV buses is great. I can still smell the fumes 40 years later from those buses I had to ride on … these are the places where I feel EV does the most good (big trucks, buses, delivery vans, boats, etc),” wrote another.
“Exactly what is needed X 10’s of thousands!” a third chimed in.
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