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Michigan schools working with Consumers Energy to deploy electric school buses

top back of a school bus
Nick Quan

Consumers Energy is collaborating with several Michigan school districts to get dozens of electric buses out on the road during the upcoming academic year.

11 districts have been awarded federal funding to obtain new all-electric school buses that would replace traditional diesel-operated vehicles.

Consumers is partnering with these districts to deploy more than 50 electric buses across the state. That includes Jackson schools which are receiving 21 buses to pick up and drop off students.

Consumers spokesperson Brian Wheeler said the buses are part of an effort in the state to electrify all kinds of vehicles.

“This is really part of the next generation of that EV rollout where you’re gonna see the difference right there on the school bus that’s taking your child to school.”

The utility is offering electrical services and rebates to help pay for the vehicle charging equipment. Rebates will range from $5,000-$70,000 depending on the type of charging station being installed.

Wheeler said families may not notice a huge difference when the buses are in use. But he added electrifying the bus fleets will cut fuel costs for schools.

“They are reliable. They are clean, and also most importantly for the school district, they’re affordable,” he said.

Wheeler says the buses are expected to arrive sometime during the upcoming school year.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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