More Michigan school districts set to electrify bus fleets in 2023
Author: Jennifer Chambers
More electric school buses will be rolling on Michigan's roadways in this new year, thanks in part to a federal grant helping 25 school districts make their first purchase. Dearborn Public Schools unveiled its first electric bus purchase last month with the Blue Bird All American RE electric school bus. With its green bird logo and electric plugs, the zero-emission bus can carry up to 84 passengers and travel up to 120 miles on a single charge. The specialized bus, which takes between three and eight hours to fully recharge, depending on the charging infrastructure, is the first of several the Wayne County district will purchase with the help of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, school officials said. Dearborn superintendent Glenn Maleyko said the district already has a fleet of 70 traditional diesel fuel-burning Blue Bird buses and that adding electric vehicles will help the district reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions while improving student and community health. “Electric school buses help in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Today marks an important step as we start to evaluate this new technology,” Maleyko said in a statement. The bus was funded with a mix of federal grant dollars and district funds. The EPA provided an initial grant of $300,000 through the American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebate program which seeks to replace older diesel school buses with zero-emissions electric buses.