U.S. Senator tours school bus plant, experiences electric school bus

Georgia U. S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, witnessed Blue Bird Corporation’s zero-emission school bus technology firsthand (Photo: Business Wire)

Georgia U. S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, witnessed Blue Bird Corporation’s industry leading zero-emission school bus technology firsthand during a ride-and-drive of an electric-powered Blue Bird school bus. In addition, the Senator toured its manufacturing facility in Fort Valley.

“I grew up riding in Blue Bird school buses, and am a product of the public school system. I can tell you the buses I rode back then were a lot louder than this electric bus,” said Sen. Warnock. “Some say that you can choose to invest to save the environment or jobs – but you can’t save jobs without saving the environment. With investment in electric school buses, we are poised to lead more into the sustainable energy future – the green energy job future. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the air, and it’s certainly great for our children.”

Last month, Senators Warnock and Alex Padilla (CA) and Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA) and Jahana Hayes (CT) introduced the Clean Commute for Kids Act in Congress to strengthen investments in advancing electric school buses across the country. The legislation provides $25 billion over the next decade to begin replacing aging diesel buses with zero-emission electric school buses. School buses make up 90% of the U.S. bus fleet and 94% of school buses currently run on diesel.

“Blue Bird is driving the school bus industry into a future built on reduced emissions and sustainable solutions, and we’re very happy to have Senator Warnock view our leading technology first hand and meet with our great team that produces these buses right here in Georgia – like we have done since 1927.” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Just like Senator Warnock, we’re excited to lead the transformation in bringing American-made electric school buses to our school districts, offering the cleanest, safest ride available for students. We look forward to working with Senator Warnock and all members of Congress to advance legislation so that our children can enjoy the benefits of these zero-emission buses.”

Blue Bird was the first to introduce electric school buses 27 years ago and continues to lead the market, with more than 400 electric school buses on the road this summer. It is also the first and only school bus OEM to offer electric school buses in Type A, C & D configurations.

These fully-electric buses emit zero emissions, and through their standard vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability, can improve the resiliency of the nation’s electricity grid and be a source of energy for hospitals and other critical elements of our infrastructure during national disasters.