State announces seventeen new electric powered buses for seven school districts

Sep 10, 2019

Seven school districts across the state are expected to begin using electric busses by the end of next year.

Electric bus photo credit of Proterra

The state is covering 70% of the cost for seventeen the new electric buses.

Debra Swartz is with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. She said her department is providing more than $4 million to the project.

“And electric school busses will help to reduce harmful emissions that impact children, air quality, and our natural resources,” Swartz said.

In total, seventeen electric buses and charging stations will go to school districts within a year. Busses will be provided to Zeeland, Ann Arbor and Gaylord schools, among others.

Schools districts are responsible for picking up part of the bill.

“The schools are putting in that other 30% so it’s close to another 2 million dollars that the school districts are providing,” Swartz said.

The project is financed in part by the state’s nearly $65-million settlement with Volkswagen. In 2015 the company admitted to using devices that helped their cars cheat emissions tests.

Swartz said while the project will help increase the visibility of zero emission vehicles across the state there are no plans to expand the number of electric busses after the rollout of these initial seventeen.