First Student and Lion Electric announce largest electric school bus order of 260 buses

First Student, the largest student transportation provider in North America, and the Lion Electric Company, a leading manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, have announced that First Student is ordering 260 all-electric LionC school buses.

This is the largest order of school buses by a single customer in Lion’s history. The order will make First Student the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America. Deliveries will take place beginning in the second half of 2021 through to the first half of 2023. The buses will be used by Transco, First Student’s subsidiary that operates in Quebec.

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Lion Electric, an innovative manufacturer of all-electric trucks and buses, announced earlier in the year it will also be constructing a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec. This is the ideal back-up for its range of electric vehicles and the factory is planned to begin operations in early 2023.

Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion, said: “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.

“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.”

The company already operates a number of Lion all-electric school buses. As part of the purchase, the LionEnergy team will strategically work with First Student for the selection and installation of necessary infrastructure. This will allow the operator to adequately scale its zero-emission operations.

Paul Osland, First Student president, said: “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.

“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.”

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.

US President, Joe Biden, recently proposed a $174 billion plan of electric vehicle spending, which included $20 billion to help convert school bus fleets to electric. His Vice President, Kamala Harris, has also long been proactive when it comes to green issues. She put forward the Clean School Bus Act in 2019 to accelerate the electrification of the nation’s school bus fleet. Hopefully, all of this will help accelerate the clean-up of the school bus system.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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