Michigan's first electric school buses showcased in Lansing

Michigan unveils electric buses in Lansing. (Source: WILX).
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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan's first electric school buses were unveiled in Lansing Thursday morning.

The new buses are part of a program that supports cleaner air, alternative fuel options and a safer environment for children.

Ann Arbor, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Oxford, Roseville, Three Rivers and Zeeland school districts will get a total of $4.2 million from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy's (EGLE) Fuel Transformation Program to pay for up to 70% of the costs associated with buying 17 of the electric buses, according to a press release.

Since taking office, I’ve been deliberate in combating climate change, protecting public health here in Michigan, and advancing our state’s technology and the transportation landscape in a way that also improves lives,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Programs like these that replace diesel-powered school buses with electric models allow for students to learn about advancing technology and see what a real impact they can have when it comes to climate change. These advancements put Michigan on track toward environmental sustainability and reinforce Michigan’s continued leadership when it comes to next generation transportation.”

The goal of the electric buses is to limit children's exposure to harmful diesel exhaust fumes.

Fumes drawn into the buildings from buses idling outside would also be dramatically reduced.

“This project highlights how Michigan’s mobility landscape continues to evolve in a way that also delivers transportation solutions and improves the quality of life for residents in the state,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “The MEDC, through our PlanetM initiative, is pleased to be a part of a collaboration with state and local partners that is once again demonstrating Michigan’s national leadership in mobility.”

Some of the zero-emission buses are expected to be on the road as early as this year.

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