Lenoir County Public Schools introduces all-electric activity bus

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, one Eastern Carolina school district is adding a new all-electric bus to its lineup.

Designed to be quiet and resourceful, this new all-electric bus will soon hit the Lenoir County roads.

“We already have diesel engines, gasoline engines, and propane-powered buses, so this is another layer to that,” Lenoir County Public Schools Superintendent Brent Williams said.

Monday, the district showed off its new bus with an almost half-a-million-dollar price tag. The money for the bus is from a grant the district received in September 2022. After a year of building, the new ride is finally here for students to enjoy.

“I think the kids are going to be excited,” Williams said. “It certainly has the cool factor with kids. Kids want to see what the electric bus is all about. Adults do too and it’s really exciting to that degree.”

The electric bus has its own charging station at the bus garage, included in the grant, and it can charge relatively fast. If the bus is at 20% charge, one of the bus developers says it can reach 80% in about an hour and a half.

Interim Transportation Director Cindy Bruner said the bus is the district’s way of being more environmentally aware as there will be zero percent emissions.

“There will be no smog, it’s completely safe as far as the emissions,” Bruner said.

There are some concerns about the electric bus running out of power while on the road. Bruner said it shouldn’t be a problem as long as it stays on the main roads, as there are multiple charging stations.

“There are also apps that can be downloaded onto your cellphone and you can find those easily,” Bruner said.

According to Superintendent Williams, additional training is required for drivers and technicians.

Bruner said the new electric bus is set to roll out when its tags come in.