Mid-Michigan schools roll out new EV school buses
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is investing $125 million to buy electric school buses.
HOMER, Mich. (WILX) - A new fleet of buses, greeting students with the sounds of their fight song. The new electric school buses rolled out in November for Homer Public Schools. Although they’re not the only school district riding on electricity.
“The kids really like them. They’re quiet riding down the road,” said Michael Leskowich. “The kids had told me that they feel that they’re a little bit bigger. There’s more space for them. The isles are bigger than the traditional school bus.”
Michael Leskowich is the Superintendent for Homer Public Schools. They’re now home to seven new electric school buses.
“Technology is changing at such a fast pace and looking at that from an environmental point of view, I think it’s important that we do little things that we can to help out,” said Leskowich.
As part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program, 24 Michigan schools were awarded funding for EV buses and infrastructure. That includes Jackson, Ypsilanti and Pontiac City schools.
Elizabeth Hauptman with Moms Clean Air Force says Michigan is leading the way in EV buses.
“On average about 600,000 students get on these dirty diesel school buses for an average of 40 minutes a day, breathing in these toxic fumes—transitioning to these clean alternative or healthier choices for kids and our families,” said Hauptman.
On the other hand, Leskowich says parents are concerned about the safety and durability of electric buses. According to the Electric School Bus Initiative, electric buses are overall safer than traditional buses with combustible engines.
Homer Public Schools have 5 years with the EV buses before deciding whether to keep them or return to their gas combustion buses. As part of the 2024 fiscal budget, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is investing $125 million to buy electric school buses.
Ultimately, providing what many say is a cleaner and healthier commute.
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