The Ann Arbor and Rolesville school districts have been awarded $1.5 million in grants from DTE Energy. The partnership between the energy company and the state of Michigan will allow the two Detroit school districts to purchase six electric buses and the associated charging equipment.
The Details of the Grant
The larger Ann Arbor Public Schools will receive four buses while Roseville will receive the remaining two. DTE Energy will work alongside school administrators to ensure that the logistics and infrastructure is understood and supported.
The grant will fund the C2 Jouley School Bus manufactured by Thomas Built Buses. The Jouley made its debut back in October 2018 in Kansas City, MO. It is an “emissions-free, noise pollution-free and fossil fuel-free” electric school bus that can help save operating costs, and maybe even the planet.”
The buses boast of a fully electric engine that takes no more than 8 hours to charge at an AC charging station. Each bus can comfortably seat 81 students and drive 120 miles before needing to be re-charged.
A Joint Effort in Climate Change
DTE Energy’s initiative, Journey to 80, is a commitment to “reduce carbon and methane emissions by more than 80 percent” by 2040. They want to harness energy via wind, solar power, and natural gas while eliminating every single one of their coal plants.
DTE has also partnered with the Michigan Association of School Transportation (MAST) to create learning programs pertaining to the new buses. These educational endeavors will help students see the value in fuel-efficient innovations and initiatives as part of their STEM development courses.
President and COO Trevor F. Lauer of DTE Electric said, “We’re excited to help bring clean electric transportation to thousands of Michigan students. This partnership and grant fit well with our commitment to advancing both STEM education and Michigan’s clean energy future.”
The Excitement is Contagious
Assistant superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Marios Demetrious says that “[The schools] are thrilled to lead Michigan in the deployment of the latest transit technology for schools.”
Superintendent of the Roseville Community Schools, John Kment chimed in as well saying, “We look forward to deploying these electric buses in our district. Not only will they help us reduce our carbon footprint, but they will also serve as great educational opportunities for our students.”
Perhaps this is just the start of getting electric school buses into every district in the country. The only way this is going to be possible is if all entities work together. Companies, manufacturers, and school administrations all have a part to play in creating a greener world for future generations.