The ride to school will soon be more environmentally friendly for some Belleville students.
The school district will be adding two new electric school buses from Lion Electric valued at $834,604 through a grant contributed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Production (DEP).
The grant was made through a transportation electrification initiative launched under Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, as part of the governor’s effort to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050.
“The school district is not only committed to preparing our students for their place in the world, but we want to hand them a better world,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Tomko said. “We are pleased to soon welcome the electric buses and their ability to help us do our part to keep Belleville cleaner and greener.”
Lion Electric, with facilities in California and Canada, builds the buses to have up to a 155-mile range on a single charge and are compatible with most public charging stations. Each zero-emission bus put on the road eliminates about 23 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, the company says.
The buses, which hold about 70 passengers, are expected to be on the road, picking up and dropping off Belleville students this fall.
“We are at an inflection point – the future strength of our state depends on how aggressively we act to reduce the emission of climate pollutants today, and how well we use the great opportunities now before us to promote overdue environmental and economic justice,” DEP Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said. “The investments and commitments made today will indeed make New Jersey's environment stronger and more just, and I am proud to be part of an Administration that puts its money where its heart is.”
The grant is funded by money received by the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and its prosecution of Volkswagen for emissions cheating. The money is earmarked to fund grants that will, among other things, reduce emissions that affect our children’s air quality through the deployment of electric school buses and shuttle buses.