The largest student transportation provider in North America, First Student, recently placed the largest order of electric school buses with Lion Electric Company. Lion manufactures both all-electric medium- and heavy-duty urban vehicles, and together the two companies announced the order. First Student is ordering 260 all-electric LionC school buses. This is the largest order of school buses — of any powertrain — Lion has ever received. This is a huge win for fleet electrification and especially for the local kids since these new buses will not pollute the air students breathe as they board, deboard, and ride the buses like fossil fuel buses do.
Deliveries are expected to take place at the start of the second half of 2021 through the first half of 2023. The buses will be used by Transco, a subsidiary of First Student that operates in Quebec. This news follows another recent announcement by Lion Electric concerning the construction of its battery manufacturing plant and innovation center in Quebec.
CEO and Founder of Lion Marc Bedard shared thoughts on the new order. “Today marks a new step in the adoption of zero-emission school buses. First Student’s leadership demonstrates that zero-emission technology is here to meet the needs of the market at scale, as is our production capacity,” he said. “We are not talking about pilot programs, but rather entire bus fleets going electric, with vehicles that meet the daily requirements of the industry’s largest operators.”
First Student president Paul Osland also gave a statement. “We are proud to take this significant step to improve the environmental health of our student passengers and the communities we serve. First Student embraces the importance that electrification and zero-emission technologies will play in the future of student transportation,” said Osland. “The electrification of school buses has already started and is poised to accelerate rapidly. This work with Lion Electric is an important step to position First Student as North America’s leading owner and operator of electric school buses.”
ElectricDrives, which reported on this, also shared a thought that I agree with. “It’s good to see the North American bus system changing for the better to help children with improved breathing while putting out zero emissions. Hopefully, this set-up will encourage other communities to adopt similar electric school bus fleets.”
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