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Motiv Power Systems to Power 13 All-Electric School Buses in Zero-Emission Bus Pilot

FOSTER CITY, Calif.  –​ Motiv Power Systems, in partnership with Type-A school bus manufacturer Trans Tech, is bringing zero-emission school buses to the Sacramento region as local school districts lead the way in transitioning school bus fleets from diesel to all-electric. ​

Elk Grove Unified School District ​and ​Twin Rivers UnifiedSchool District ​will be receiving buses thanks to a $7.5M grant from the ​California Air ResourcesBoard​ (CARB) to build 13 zero-emission school buses as part of the Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project.  This is the board’s largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all the school bus applications submitted to the state grant program. Beyond freeing buses from the volatility of oil prices, these buses will protect growing children from unnecessary exposure to fossil fuel pollution and particulate matter (PM), also known as soot, while also supporting local manufacturing in the production of the powertrains.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District will hold an event on its all-electric school bus initiative​​May 12th at 10am, at Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy.

“The Sacramento Regional School Bus Deployment Project is a great example of how our climate policies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs here in California,” said Senator Bob Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, whose district includes the City of Hayward, where Motiv Power Systems is located. “Motiv Power Systems all-electric powertrain kits are increasing the number of students who are transported in zero emission vehicles. This is especially beneficial to disadvantaged communities where poor air quality has severe health impacts for many residents. This grant puts us on the road to a cleaner California.”

Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment account for ​more than two-thirds of all PM emissions from US transportation sources. PM irritates the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. It’s also estimated that tens of thousands of people nationwide die prematurely each year as a result of particulate pollution. However, ​research​ has found that children see improved lung function and have fewer sick days when schools implement cleaner fuel technologies.

“Health and safety standards are always important and even more so when transporting our future generations. So seeing Motiv and its partners gain approval for both Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and California Highway Patrol Certification was paramount in providing our district with the right all-electric buses to fit our requirements,” said John Clements, retired Director of Transportation at Kings Canyon Unified School District. “Motiv Power Systems has worked with customers and built a great reputation for providing safe, clean and California standard-approved buses in this market. We’re thrilled to see more districts adopting the all-electric school bus technology we were first to deploy.”

The new all-electric buses will be powered by Motiv’s award-winning all-electric powertrains, which are both designed and manufactured in California, supporting local manufacturing jobs. The buses, Trans Tech’s all-electric eSeries built on the Ford E450 chassis, will be distributed by ​First Priority GreenFleet​.

“We are thrilled that our partnership with Motiv Power Systems allows us to bring our all-electric eSeries to Sacramento County and the state of California,” said Trans Tech President, John Phraner. “The eSeries is a tremendous complement to our proven lineup of fuel-efficient conventional school buses. Combining our signature aerodynamic design with the Motiv Power Systems powertrain and Ford E450 chassis provides customers interested in an all-electric Type-A school bus the best choice on the market.”

“As a father of three small children, it excites me that improving air quality surrounding school transportation is increasingly within reach for many fleets,” said Motiv Power Systems CEO Jim Castelaz. “The trend of transitioning from diesel to zero-emission busing is the future, and these 13 buses will be proof of that. We’re proud to be working with the Sacramento City school district and hope that more school districts throughout the country follow this movement.”

As the only all-electric technology approved by Ford for its commercial chassis​, Motiv’s All-Electric Powertrain has successfully been scaled from school buses in ​California ​and New York, to ​shuttle buses funded by Google and the California Energy Commission​, ​delivery walk-in vans​ for AmeriPride and North America’s ​only all-electric refuse truck​ deployed by the City of Chicago.

About Motiv Power Systems

Founded in 2009 and based in Foster City, CA, the award-winning Motiv Power Systems designs and builds flexible and scalable All-Electric Powertrains for commercial medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. As a Ford ​Qualified Vehicle Modifier,​Motiv partners with existing truck builders who manufacture electric versions of their traditional fossil-fueled vehicles on their current assembly lines using the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain. Common vehicle types from these builders include work, delivery and refuse trucks, as well as school and shuttle buses. The Motiv All-Electric Powertrain is installed at the time of vehicle manufacture, similar to a natural gas or propane upfit. In 2014, Motiv All-Electric Powertrain was named one of Popular Science’s Best of What’s New​ technologies. For more information and career opportunities, please visit​ and follow us on Twitter ​@motivps​, ​Facebook​ and ​LinkedIn​.

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