Michigan-based utility Consumers Energy is working with 11 school districts in the state to put all-electric school buses on the road.
“Michigan is in the middle of an electric vehicle transformation – that means vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including the traditional big yellow school buses so many of us rode as kids,” says Lauren Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “We’re excited to help our schools make this clean vehicle transition and ensure safe transportation for today’s generation and dollars for our schools.”
Only a few Michigan school systems use electric school buses today, but that will change this school year. Consumers Energy is working with district officials who last year learned they were awarded funding for over 50 buses across Michigan, the most of any Midwest state.
Among the first districts to add electric buses is Pellston, in northern Michigan’s Emmet County. Pellston put four buses on the road in April, making the purchase largely with help from a federal grant. Consumers Energy provided a rebate for the buses’ charging stations and did their electrical work.
In just four weeks, the district reduced their bus operating costs by 45 cents a mile and saved over $1,300.
“Having never been through the process before, electrification of our bus fleet seemed like a daunting task. I couldn’t be more grateful for how easy Consumers Energy made the process with absolutely zero dollars out of our district’s budget,” says Stephen Seelye, superintendent of Pellston Public Schools.
Other districts Consumers Energy is helping are Alcona, Au Gres-Sims, Beecher, Britton Deerfield, Cadillac, Jackson, Homer, Hopkins, Pentwater and Sand Creek.
Consumers Energy is helping Michigan schools electrify their buses through PowerMIFleet, a program providing expertise and financial rebates for chargers to businesses considering electric vehicles.