The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
America's First All-Electric School Bus Coming to California
The first all-electric school bus could be picking up California students by 2014.
Trans Tech Bus and Motiv Power Systems debuted the bus at the recent 2013 National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Annual Summit in Grand Rapids, MI. The two companies collaborated on the bus for the Kings Canyon Unified School District in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
"An electric bus can save a school district about 16 gallons of fuel a day, or around $11,000 in fuel savings over a year, not to mention maintenance savings," Trans Tech President John Phraner said. "We are very excited to continue to help school districts reduce their transportation budgets and are committed to opening the market for the all-electric school bus."
Named the SST-e, the bus was partly funded by the California Air Resources Board's air quality improvement program for electric buses. It holds up to 32 children or 24 students and one wheelchair. When more buses are developed, they will be available to districts with four or five battery packs, which provides 80 or 100 miles of travel, respectively.
The buses can be 50 percent charged in less than an hour. The buses are also equipped with telemetry systems, which produce real-time route data and preventive maintenance reports to fleet managers.
The buses are built on Ford E450 chassis and use Motiv's electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS), which is compatible with any battery currently on the market or available in the future.
"Our system is battery agnostic, it 'future-proofs' fleets against changes in the battery market, such as discontinued batteries or future improved technology," said Jim Castelaz, founder and CEO of Motiv. "We are thrilled the ePCS will be assisting schools get the most out of their transportation dollars, while at the same time educating children on clean transportation."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David R. Montgomery
Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.
Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.
A new multiyear study found that people living or working within 2,000 feet, or nearly half a mile, of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drill site may be at a heightened risk of exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals, according to research released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)