Franklin Pierce School District kicked off a new era of carbon-free transportation on Monday as it unveiled the state’s first electric school bus in hopes of reducing carbon emissions and providing an educational opportunity for students and educators.
Purchased with grant dollars, the bus features a custom educational energy dashboard showing real-time energy use and savings. The bus seats 72 and, with a range of 120 miles, will be used daily for pick-up and drop-off services and will charge during school hours. It’s expected to save the district thousands of dollars in avoided maintenance and fuel costs. If the pilot proves successful, Franklin Pierce Schools plans to replace its diesel bus fleet with electric buses.
With Gov. Jay Inslee on board, the all-electric Blue Bird school bus made a victory lap at the high school stadium in Tacoma on Monday to the cheers of students, parents and teachers in the grandstand to celebrate the unveiling.
“In Washington state, we’re electrifying planes, trains, ferries, and automobiles. And today, we’re showing we can electrify buses too,” Inslee said. “It’s exciting to celebrate the first electric school bus in Washington state, because this effort is, ultimately, all about our kids and their future.”