The Greenville County School District received its first electric school bus on Friday, just as gas prices reached new highs, thanks to a donation from the Ava Lane Meyer Foundation.
The foundation that was created by Meyer, who established the Kids Ride Clean initiative as a way to advance clean energy transportation, provided an electric bus to the district, which was one of four across South Carolina. After children and teachers wrote essays on the benefits of zero-emission school buses, GCS was chosen.
“I am thrilled for Greenville County Schools to be a recipient of an all-electric bus to not only transport our students safely, but also to help protect the environment in a small, but tangible way,” said transportation director Adam James. “This will hopefully allow us to evaluate whether electric buses can meet the needs of school transportation for Greenville County and the state of South Carolina.”
The bus, which cost around $340,000, was built in the Carolinas. The chassis was made by Freightliner of Gaffney, and the bus was built by Thomas Built Buses of High Point, NC. The powertrain was built by Proterra of Greenville. The batteries on this bus were manufactured at Proterra’s California facility, but Proterra is expanding its Greenville site and will manufacture batteries there in the future.
The new bus will be used for the first time on the Monday following spring break, and will soon be taking students from Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School.