Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Motiv Power Provides Electric School Buses To California Communities

13 electric school buses from Motiv Power are now in use in the Sacremento area. They join 4 more already in service in the San Joaquin Valley and 2 more beginning trials in Los Angeles.

This story about electric school buses was first published on Gas2.

Is there anything dumber than loading our children aboard diesel-powered buses so they go to and from school in a haze of diesel exhaust fumes and particulates? Everyone except Rush Limbaugh knows breathing in diesel exhaust is bad for one’s health, yet every day millions of school children are sentenced to respiratory disease and a potentially shorter lifespan because of how they get to school and back. Motiv Power Systems has a better way — electric school buses that eliminate diesel engines entirely.

Motiv Power is not in the business of making supercars or luxo-barges for bigwigs. Its business is focused on large commercial vehicles — everything from school buses to shuttle buses, delivery trucks, work trucks, and even Class 8 trash trucks. At the start of this school year, 13 electric buses with Motiv Power battery electric powertrains and manufactured by Trans Tech will begin serving the Elk Grove Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District in the Sacramento area.

“As a father of three small children, it excites me that improving air quality surrounding school transportation is increasingly within reach for many fleets,” said Motiv Power Systems CEO Jim Castelaz. “The trend of transitioning from diesel to zero emission busing is the future, and these 13 buses will be proof of that. We’re proud to be working with the Sacramento City school district and hope that more school districts throughout the country follow this movement.”

The experimental program was made possible by a $7.5M grant from the California Air Resources Board. This is the board’s largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all those submitted to the state grant program this year. “The Sacramento Regional School Bus Deployment Project is a great example of how our climate policies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs here in California,” said Senator Bob Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

His district includes the City of Hayward, where Motiv Power Systems manufactures its powertrains. “Motiv Power Systems all-electric powertrain kits are increasing the number of students who are transported in zero emission vehicles. This is especially beneficial to disadvantaged communities where poor air quality has severe health impacts for many residents. This grant puts us on the road to a cleaner California.”

Motiv Power Systems does not use lithium-ion batteries for its electric bus program. According to Rose Begonia, a spokesperson for the company, “The chemistry that Motiv uses for its school bus batteries is sodium nickel. It’s not a lithium family chemistry. It’s actually based on just sodium and chlorine — so it’s table salt, sodium chloride — and nickel.

“The sodium nickel batteries are also thermally managed, so they don’t derate in very hot weather or very cold weather. With lithium-ion batteries, unless they are thermally managed, which is uncommon in the bus and truck and heavy vehicle industry, they derate pretty substantially in cold weather.”

Such batteries do not subject the children onboard the buses to the risk of fire associated with lithium-ion batteries in the rare circumstances where such fires may occur.

Motiv Power says its electric buses reduce operating expenses for fuel by as much as 85% and cut maintenance costs by two-thirds. That means the return on investment for school bus operators is only 6 years. Four Motiv Power electric buses are currently in operation in the San Joaquin Valley in California and two more are on their way to Los Angeles, where their performance will be evaluated with an eye toward adding more electric buses to the city’s school bus fleet in the future.

Source: Motiv Power Systems

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


You May Also Like

Clean Transport

In general, I love the arms-wide-open, let’s-include-everyone approach to things, whether it’s a social gathering at my house, or a funding program for electric...

Clean Transport

Blue Bird recently unveiled its new Electric Vehicle (EV) Build-up Center in Fort Valley, Georgia. The company repurposed an almost 40,000 sq.ft. facility to...


Kenya Airways (KQ) is participating in the second edition of the Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC), an initiative of SkyTeam. The initiative is a friendly...

Clean Transport

Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) recently approved new electricity tariffs effective April 1st. As part of this latest tariff review, EPRA introduced...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.