Anaheim Elementary unveils new electric school buses for 2021-22

The Anaheim Elementary School District showcased some its new electric buses on Friday, July 16. The clean-energy vehicles were funded by a California Energy Commission grant.

A fleet of clean-energy electric buses is making its way to the Anaheim Elementary School District.

AESD expects to take possession of eight new electric buses by the fall, but the first four were recently unveiled at the district’s transportation depot. The acquisition was made possible by a California Energy Commission grant designed to further the state’s clean-air goals while supporting the district’s green initiatives.

“We’re excited to roll out these new green buses as part of our fleet,” Superintendent Dr. Christopher Downing said. “We know the importance of being good stewards of the environment, and these buses will significantly reduce our carbon footprint in our city one mile at a time.”

The buses have been funded by the CEC’s School Bus Replacement Program, which aims to swap out diesel-powered buses across the state. Currently, about half of Anaheim Elementary’s 90 school buses run on diesel fuel.

“This grant is a game-changer,” said Anaheim Elementary school board President Mark A. Lopez. “We’re proud to be one of the school districts to have been chosen to receive this honor. It validates and supports our ongoing efforts to promote green practices in our schools for a better environment.”

AESD says it hopes to continue working with the state and the CEC to convert more of its buses, citing studies that show 23 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated each year for every older diesel bus that’s replaced.

“Making the transition to electric school buses that don’t emit pollution provides children and their communities with cleaner air and numerous public health benefits,” CEC Commissioner Patty Monahan said. “The Energy Commission is proud to support this transition to protect the health of children throughout the state, something that will help all Californians breathe easier.”

The electric bus program is just one piece of a larger green initiatives program in the Anaheim Elementary School District, which serves nearly 16,000 students at 24 campuses. AESD has also collaborated with the City of Anaheim to install solar panels at two schools — Betsy Ross Elementary and Benjamin Franklin Elementary.

The district says it hopes to expand the solar panel program to other campuses in the future.