As you would expect this time of year, communities across Michigan are lined with school buses as students head back to school this month. But some of these buses aren’t your parents’ school buses (did they even have school buses because I remember hearing they had to walk up hill both ways?). Anyway…

We are working with 11 school districts to put all-electric school buses on the road.

These buses will replace the gas tank with charging capabilities. It might not be a noticeable change for the riders, but the impact is significant for the environment and the school districts’ budgets.

“Michigan is in the middle of an electric vehicle transformation ? that means vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including the traditional big yellow school buses so many of us rode as kids,” said Lauren Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “We’re excited to help our schools make this clean vehicle transition and ensure safe transportation for today’s generation and dollars for our schools.”

Only a few Michigan school systems use electric school buses today, but that will change this school year. We are working with district officials who last year learned they were awarded funding for over 50 buses across Michigan, the most of any Midwest state.

Among the first districts to add electric buses is Pellston, in Northern Michigan’s Emmet County. Pellston put four buses on the road in April, making the purchase largely with help from a federal grant. We provided a rebate for the buses’ charging stations and did their electrical work.

In just four weeks, the district reduced their bus operating costs by 45 cents a mile and saved over $1,300.

“Having never been through the process before, electrification of our bus fleet seemed like a daunting task. I couldn’t be more grateful for how easy Consumers Energy made the process with absolutely zero dollars out of our district’s budget,” said Stephen Seelye, superintendent of Pellston Public Schools.

Other districts we are working with are:

  • Alcona
  • Au Gres-Sims
  • Beecher
  • Britton Deerfield
  • Cadillac
  • Jackson
  • Homer
  • Hopkins
  • Pentwater
  • Sand Creek

We are helping Michigan schools electrify their buses through PowerMIFleet, a program providing expertise and financial rebates for chargers to businesses considering electric vehicles.

“Consumers Energy is on the road to powering 1 million electric vehicles ? including school buses ? by 2030,” Snyder said. “PowerMIFleet and our other programs help make EVs convenient and affordable, whether you’re hitting the road for work or a vacation, whether you’re starting out in the office parking lot or in your home driveway.”

Learn more about Consumers Energy’s EV programs:

Electric vehicle sales continue to accelerate in Michigan. The number of EVs in communities that we serve has nearly doubled in just 18 months, according to publicly available numbers from the Michigan Secretary of State.

We have provided incentives for over 4,000 EV chargers for homes, businesses and along roads across the Lower Peninsula. Those include nearly 40 fast chargers that can power an EV battery in a half hour.

Related blogs:

Saving Green by Going Green in Kalamazoo

Expanding Overnight Charging for Electric Vehicles