Ripon Unified students will soon ride some of the cleanest and quietest school buses in South San Joaquin County.
Ripon Unified School District administrators last week approved the sales agreement with Creative Bus Sales for the acquisition of four electric school buses.
They are still awaiting approval for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s bus replacement program through the California Energy Commission.
This is the grant application submitted last month for four all-new battery-electric buses – described by Creative Bus Sales as “GreenPower 194kwh all-electric, zero-emission 84 passenger school bus, front and rear air suspension, disc brakes pneumatic tires, fully ducted AC system, reversing camera with monitor in the mirror, five-head camera system ”- with the installation of a changing support structure.
Maintenance and operations manager Andy Strickland told the June board meeting that the grant would help replace older diesel buses with clean electric ones. The waiting period was about 60 days, he noted.
Strickland said he will meet with PG&E officials in the coming weeks about the support charging structure needed for the new electric buses.
According to the California Energy Commission’s website, the SJVACD grant is made possible by SB 75 – allocated here $75 million of Proposition 39 money to replace the state’s oldest diesel buses with brand new ones. battery electric buses equipped with the installation of the load carrier structure.
The cost of the four buses — based on the invoice from Creative Bus Sales — is $86,772. This is with grant funding ($1.6 million) subtracted from total sales ($1,686,772).
Administrator Vince Hobbs liked the sound. “Four (new) buses for $86,000,” he said after giving his approval.
Manteca Unified is also considering switching to electric school buses.