Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Electrifies Fleet: Introducing Electric School Buses
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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Electrifies Fleet: Introducing Electric School Buses

Image showcasing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Electrifies Fleet with Highland Electric Fleets to introduce Electric School Buses in North Carolina
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is adding three electric school buses and charging stations, funded by a $68 million grant from the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement, to improve air quality and reduce emissions.
  • CMS’s partnership with Highland Electric Fleets highlights a commitment to sustainable innovation, aiming to seamlessly integrate electric buses into the fleet.
  • This initiative reflects CMS’s leadership in adopting cleaner transportation solutions and contributes to North Carolina’s clean energy objectives.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is undergoing a major transformation in student transportation by embracing electric school buses. These buses, which run on electricity instead of traditional fuels, signify a significant shift towards sustainability within the district’s transportation system. With financial support from the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement, CMS has secured $68 million to improve air quality and reduce emissions. To kickstart this initiative, CMS will introduce three electric school buses along with three charging stations, aiming to serve the transportation needs of over 105,000 students who rely on buses daily.


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Brian Schultz, Chief Operations Officer for CMS, expressed the district’s excitement about the transition to electric buses. He emphasized the importance of adopting new technologies for a cleaner and more environmentally friendly fleet. Schultz stated, “We’re thrilled to incorporate cutting-edge technology into our bus fleet. These electric buses will not only enhance our transportation services but also contribute to reducing harmful emissions.”


Highland Electric Fleets Paves the Way for CMS’s Electric School Bus Transition

Highland Electric Fleets is playing a crucial role in supporting CMS’s transition to electric school buses. As an Electrification-as-a-Service (EaaS) provider, Highland facilitated the grant application process and will oversee the installation of charging infrastructure. This partnership underscores CMS’s commitment to a seamless transition to electric transportation solutions.

CMS’s status as a prominent school district in North Carolina positions it as a trailblazer in the adoption of electric school buses. With the largest school bus fleet in the state and ranking as the 10th largest in the nation, CMS’s embrace of electric buses sets a precedent for other districts across the country. This move not only benefits the environment but also showcases CMS’s dedication to innovation and sustainability.


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Matt Stanberry, Vice President of Market Development at Highland, commended CMS’s initiative and its contribution to North Carolina’s clean energy goals. Stanberry stated, “CMS’s commitment to electrifying their school bus fleet is a significant step towards achieving the state’s clean energy objectives.” This partnership highlights the potential for collaboration between public institutions and private entities to drive sustainable transportation solutions.


Why Electric Buses are the Smart Choice for North Carolina Schools

North Carolina’s focus on energy transition aligns with CMS’s electric school bus initiative, demonstrating a collective effort towards reducing emissions and promoting environmental stewardship. The Phase II funding from the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement supports the replacement of 161 school buses, including 43 electric buses, which will significantly reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality.

While the upfront cost of electric buses may pose a challenge, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial investment. Electric buses require less maintenance and eliminate the need for traditional fuels, resulting in cost savings over time. This financial advantage, coupled with environmental benefits, positions electric buses as a sensible choice for school districts looking to invest in sustainable transportation solutions.

As CMS pioneers the adoption of electric school buses, manufacturers and companies specializing in electric vehicle technology stand to benefit from increased demand. The transition to electric buses represents an ideal shift in the school transportation industry, with potential implications for manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers.


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IMAGES: HIGHLAND ELECTRIC FLEETS

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AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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