LOS ANGELES — The wheels on the bus go round and round, as the popular children’s song goes, but in Los Angeles, some of them will be electric. On Monday, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it has purchased 10 zero-emissions school buses from the Canadian manufacturer Lion Electric.
The zero-emissions LionC model buses seat 72 passengers and can travel up to 155 miles on a single charge. They also integrate wheelchair lifts. The company expects to deliver them to LAUSD this spring. The district, so far, has one electric bus in its fleet.
“Los Angeles Unified remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint,” LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement. “A single electric bus will save more than $10,000 annually in lower maintenance costs as compared with a traditional diesel bus and reduce greenhouse gases by 54,000 pounds each year. It’s great these electric buses will arrive in time to bring students to schools when they reopen.”
LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country with more than 600,000 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade at more than 1,000 schools. The district serves an area that stretches 720 square miles, including not only the city of L.A., but 31 other municipalities, as well as unincorporated areas.
Lion has provided more than 300 electric school buses in North America, including several that are currently operating in the Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento. The Sacramento region operates the nation’s largest zero-emissions electric school bus fleet.
"LAUSD is possibly the most well-known school district in the United States, and we are pleased to have been chosen as a key partner in their journey toward zero-emission school bus operations," said Marc Bedard, CEO and founder of Lion Electric.
LAUSD’s electric bus purchase was partially funded by the California Energy Commission’s School Bus Replacement Program.