GreenPower Motor Company Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, has entered into a lease/purchase agreement for a manufacturing facility in South Charleston, W.Va., for the purpose of manufacturing all-electric school buses.
As part of the agreement, the State of West Virginia has committed to purchase a minimum of $15 million of GreenPower vehicles produced at the facility.
“GreenPower is pleased to announce that its zero-emission, all-electric school bus manufacturing operations are expanding east of the Mississippi River with West Virginia becoming our school bus manufacturing base of operations for the region,” says Brendan Riley, president of GreenPower. “The state has agreed to facilitate the purchase of a minimum of $15 million in zero-emission GreenPower school buses produced at the facility. West Virginia has shown us that it is a pro-business state that has a workforce ready to take advantage of clean energy jobs.”
GreenPower has entered into a lease/purchase agreement with the state of West Virginia to acquire properties located in South Charleston, totaling 9.5 acres and an 80,000 square foot building.
“I would like to be the first to welcome GreenPower to West Virginia with open arms. We’re thrilled that you’ve chosen to live and work in the paradise that our state offers,” states West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. “Under my administration, we’ve really focused on transforming West Virginia’s image. One of the ways we’re doing that is by embracing all the new technologies that are at our fingertips and GreenPower setting up shop in West Virginia is yet another exciting project that will help us move our state forward.”
The company plans to begin manufacturing zero-emission, all-electric school buses in the facility by the second half of 2022. The state will provide up to $3.5 million in employment incentive payments to GreenPower for jobs created in the state as production increases over time. Title to the properties will be transferred to GreenPower once total lease and incentive payments reach $6.7 million.
“The majority of school buses have a significant flaw as they expel tons of toxins into the air releasing harmful substances, including hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and other hazardous pollutants that adversely affects children’s health and academic performance,” continues Riley concluded. “Compounding the concern is the results of recent studies showing that air pollutant levels inside school buses can be greater than the ambient levels outside the bus.”
“The first purpose-built, all electric school buses that are produced in South Charleston will directly benefit the health and well-being of the families in West Virginia,” concludes Riley. “This investment represents a unique opportunity for West Virginia to improve the long-term health, development and academic performance of school-aged children, while combating pollution and reducing carbon emissions.”