Electric School Buses Are On Their Way to America’s Roads

In attempts to keep the air clean around kids, major school bus companies Blue Bird and Lion are going electric.

byMax Goldberg|
Electric School Buses Are On Their Way to America’s Roads

Diesel school buses have plagued America’s school districts for as long as most of us can remember. Dirty-running vehicles with their exhaust pipes positioned right at the mouth level of your average grade-schooler, they aren’t exactly good for “America’s future."

Fortunately, Blue Bird Buses and Lion Buses are developing electric buses that will keep America’s youth healthy and cut down on pollution. The U.S. Department of Energy is allocating $4.4 million to Blue Bird for research and the development of an electric vehicle using vehicle-to-grid tech by 2019. 

That $4.4 million is being combined with other investments to total $9 million for the vehicle’s design. Once completed, Blue Bird will test a fleet of eight buses in California. When not in use shuttling kids, the buses could kick energy back into the grid, allowing school districts to make some money off the vehicles. 

Canada’s Lion Buses is also developing an electric bus called the eLion. Thanks to the help of the government of Quebec and California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Lion Bus has already been able to build working prototypes. Their demo buses made their debut in Palo Alto, and are expected to be produced in California.