Chicago — The Illinois Energy Consortium (IEC) Powered by Future Green and Midwest Transit Equipment (MTE) of Kankakee, Illinois, have partnered to bring transformed electric school buses to more Illinois school districts. The partnership brings the cost to own and operate an electric school bus equal to or better than the price to own and operate a diesel bus.
The partnership leverages IEC Powered by Future Green’s expertise in renewable energy production and procurement. In most cases, school districts will be able to package the installation of onsite solar, charging infrastructure, and transformed electric school buses with little to no upfront costs. Buses will have the ability to deliver full vehicle-to-grid capabilities.
“School leaders recognize the health and environmental benefits of electric over diesel. Unfortunately the current price of a new electric school bus puts them out of reach without incentives,” said Haj Young, managing director, IEC Powered by Future Green. “With close to 70 Illinois school districts on the waitlist for EPA Clean School Bus funding, the desire to bring electric school buses to communities is there. We couldn’t be more excited to bring this affordable opportunity to schools so they don’t have to wait.”
The school bus transformation includes full refurbishment of an IC-Bus in addition to the conversion to an electric powertrain. The partnership is fueled by MTEs plans with SEA Electric to convert 10,000 school buses to 100-percent electric with the SEA-Drive Power System over the next five years. The conversion results in near-new zero emission buses which create health, environmental, and economic benefits for school districts.
“The quality of a used IC-Bus is a perfect match for the advanced technology of the
SEA-Drive Power System. The renewable energy and energy procurement expertise of the IEC Powered by Future Green team makes this switch to electric buses affordable. The most exciting part of this partnership is knowing all those school districts that missed out on EPA funding no longer have to wait,” added Scott Sochacki, vice president of sales, Midwest Transit Equipment.
The partnership will cover both Type A and Type C school buses powered by SEA Electric’s SEA-Drive power system. The SEA-DRIVE power system currently powers buses and work trucks on four continents and six countries with over a million miles of real-world use globally. This partnership promotes the ESG principle of secondary use, while reducing waste, eliminating diesel particulates and most importantly positively impacting the health and wellbeing of students and staff.
“Our first transformed bus is scheduled to start moving kids in January. It will be fueled by energy from a rooftop solar array engineered by the IEC Powered by Future Green team,” said Tim Farquer, superintendent of Williamsfield Schools and administrative lead of the Bus-2-Grid Initiative. “With onsite solar production and fleet electrification, we anticipate a 60% reduction in energy costs. The transformed bus is a key part of our overall energy savings and emissions reduction strategy.”
Illinois Energy Consortium (IEC) Powered by Future Green
The Illinois Energy Consortium (IEC) Powered by Future Green is Illinois’ largest electric and natural gas pool. They leverage government incentive programs, volume pricing, and power purchase agreements to help school districts install solar arrays onsite with no upfront out-of-pocket costs. The IEC Powered by Future Green also leverages the Bus-2-Grid Initiative to unlock the energy storage capacity of electric school bus batteries and include school bus fleet electrification within an overall energy savings and emissions reduction plan for its members. A not-for-profit initiative of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Boards, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, the IEC Powered by Future Green provides members stable and long term low cost renewable energy solutions that are environmentally responsible. Econergy LLC is the Program Manager of the IEC Powered by Future Green.
Midwest Transit Equipment (MTE)
As one of the largest bus dealers in the country, Midwest Transit Equipment sells and services thousands of new and used buses each year. MTE has 9 locations with over 400 employees and a $5 million parts inventory. A 10,000 unit partnership with SEA Electric has MTE poised to convert 10,000 school buses to 100-percent electric with the SEA-Drive Power System over the next five years, resulting in near-new zero emission buses which create environmental, health and economic benefits for schools and communities.